With the increasingly dire evidence of the climate emergency and the passage of the recent Massachusetts Climate Roadmap law with legally binding targets for Massachusetts to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, the time is right for Needham to take a thoughtful and organized approach to this challenge with its own Climate Action Plan.

A working group composed of members of the Green Needham Collaborative, the League of Women Voters of Needham, and Mothers Out Front Needham has joined together to request that the Needham Select Board commission the creation of a Climate Action Plan for the Town. While Needham has an excellent track record of taking on projects to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, a Climate Action Plan will provide a more holistic approach for the future.

The working group has offered its support to the Select Board as it considers this request. The group conducted preliminary research into Climate Action Plans and interviewed sustainability coordinators and committees from Massachusetts towns and cities that have developed such Plans. The group prepared an “Overview of Municipal Climate Action Plans,” outlining what goes into a Plan and sharing the experiences of neighboring communities, for the Board’s information and consideration.

A Climate Action Plan is similar to other strategic planning documents the Town uses to effectively allocate resources to achieve its goals. It begins with a baseline of the town’s greenhouse gas emissions and details how the town, along with its businesses, organizations and residents, will move toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the Green Needham Collaborative, the League of Women Voters of Needham, and Mothers Out Front Needham, the following Needham organizations thus far have also endorsed this request: Temple Beth Shalom, First Parish Needham, Olin College, Needham Community Farm, Christ Episcopal Church Needham.

Advancing a Climate Action Plan for Needham
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