Needham’s Climate Action Plan (CAP)

source: https://vassar.edu/
  • A tool, or roadmap, for how Needham can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen its resilience to Climate Change.
  • Needham’s Climate Action Plan Committee (CAPC) was formed in March 2022 and charged with guiding the Town’s CAP development.
  • CAPC consists of five interested residents, two members of the Planning Board, and two Select Board members, assisted by DPW staff.

 

Needham’s Climate Action Plan importance

  • the CAP will serve as a Flexible and Actionable Plan to help all of Needham move towards a carbon-neutral future.
  • We need a plan to reach our climate goals
  • We need to be able to measure progress
  • The CAPC is a Town Committee, but not just focused on Town activities
  • Working to drive action across all segments of Needham
  • Energize the entire community to understand and make changes towards drastically reducing our GHG emissions.

Accomplishments To Date

  • Reviewed the CAP materials from peer towns
  • Learned from their methods, processes and recommendations
  • Had discussions with the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) and others about the process of developing a CAP
  • A Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory is in progress:
    • Expected to be formalized and completed by Fall 2022
    • Greenhouse gas inventory (GHG) inventory sets the baseline and tells us about the makeup of Needham’s GHG Emissions.
    • Initiated by Green Needham in 2021, using the MAPC analysis tools. Inputs came from:
      • Town energy use data
      • Discussions with Town Staff
      • Public data sets

What we learned

Needham Greenhouse Gas Inventory
  • 89% of emissions come from three types of sources – Residential buildings, Commercial and Industrial Buildings and Passenger Vehicles
  • Town buildings and vehicles only contribute 2.4% of Needham’s emissions

Needham’s Climate Action Plan – Next Steps

  • CAP development is an 18- to 24-month process.
  • The CAP will be an actionable document that sets out a path for curbing Needham’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • During this process, we will be:
    • Engaging stakeholders (e.g.: Town departments, businesses, Eversource)
    • Evaluating tools and tactics to implement some strategies (e.g.: compatibility of solar canopies with zoning regulations)
    • Developing community resources (e.g.: promoting intensive use of Eversource energy efficiency programs, reducing barriers to electric vehicle adaptation)
    • Some actions may be undertaken before the formal plan is adopted. (e.g.: evaluation of Community Electricity Aggregation options)
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