Cities Taking Action in Climate Fight – Newton’s Checklist

Last Week I mentioned Newton’s climate action plan, and the ability to choose 100% renewable electricity. With most of the country under a “stay at home” order, it has given us the opportunity to reflect and connect more closely with our neighbors and communities. Similar to the Covid-19 pandemic, state and local governments are leading the way in fight climate change. Last October, many of the world’s most influential mayors announced their support for a global Green New Deal. Committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

As I reflected on how Newton is addressing climate change, and what other cities are doing I came learned there is tremendous activity by municipal governments around the world. Albuquerque announced their Climate Action Plan, On March 24th, Santa Cruz became the 30th city or county in California to enact a measure limiting or prohibiting the use of natural gas in new construction, in an effort to increase use of renewable electricity.

Closer to home I saw a post from Green Newton highlighting Newton’s new “Take Action” initiative to help me reduce my carbon footprint. There are 18 specific actions to help take action, and capture what I have already done, and what else I can do. These include

  • Use 100% Renewable Electricity
  • People Power Your Errands
  • Eat a More Plant-Based Diet
  • Change Your Thermostat Settings
  • Buy or Lease an Electric Car
  • Compost at Home or With a Service
  • Reduce Always-On Wasted Electricity
  • Invest Like a Climate Activist
  • Saving Water Saves Energy
  • Get a Home Energy Assessment
  • Promote Sustainability in Our Schools
  • Change to LED Lighting
  • Put Solar on Your Rooftop
  • Use Energy Efficiency Appliances
  • Organize a Community Tree Planting
  • Take Fossil Fuels Out of Your Heating
  • Insulate and Air Seal Your Home
  • Go for High Efficiency Renovations

I have already done or explored 12 of the 18 suggestions. Considering the results of my carbon footprint assessment in January, this feels pretty good. However, it also highlighted quite a few additional areas to explore and investigate.

I will drill into the above options in future posts, and some of the resources I learn about. In the meantime, I encourage you to explore what options and tools you local government provides and what specific steps you can take today to make a positive impact on climate change.

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