Needham’s Climate Action Plan (CAP)
- 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
- 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)