This blog was originally posted by yourArlington.com on April 27, 2021.
Written by Joan Roman.
The Clean Energy Future Committee has announced the completion of its plan to guide Arlington to net-zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050.
The plan outlines aggressive efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas pollution and ensures that everyone shares equally in the benefits of such measures, while the costs involved do not further burden those least able to afford them.
The committee has already begun putting the plan into effect. It includes cutting greenhouse gas in three categories: net-zero buildings, zero-emissions mobility and clean energy supply.
The plan aims to make buildings more energy efficient and power them with carbon-free electricity. It also calls for better mobility choices to reduce reliance on automobiles, and for making cars, trucks and buses via zero emissions.
In 2018, Arlington’s Select Board adopted a goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas pollution by 2050. That same year, the board created the Clean Energy Future Committee to guide the town’s efforts to reach that goal.
In September 2019, the committee began work on a Net Zero Action Plan, and on Feb. 26, 2021, completed the plan. Continuing to implement the plan requires dedication from the town and residents over the next 30 years. The plan builds on nearly 20 years of town progress on emissions reductions and serves as an organizing framework on our path to net zero that Arlington will revisit and adjust in the coming years.
“The Net Zero Action Plan gives us a clear roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. I applaud the hard work of the Clean Energy Future Committee for successfully writing this plan over many months” said Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said in a March 9 news release.
“The Department of Planning and Community Development played a major supporting role in the creation of the Net Zero Action Plan,” said Director Jennifer Raitt. “We look forward to this new phase of helping the Town implement the Plan in the months and years to come.”
Partnered with MAPC
The Town of Arlington partnered with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to develop the plan. The Clean Energy Future Committee, supported by planning and MAPC, sought input from numerous community groups and individuals, including town departments, boards and committees, as well as business, civic and faith groups. A net-zero survey in June 2020 and a Net Zero Virtual Open House in November 2020 elicited input from more than 1,000 residents about what to include in the plan.
This project was supported by a Planning Assistance Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, as well as matching funds and technical support from MAPC and Arlington.
In addition, the project included creating a greenhouse-gas inventory detailing all sources of such pollution from the Town of Arlington. The plan and inventory are available from the Clean Energy Future Committee at here.
The committee plans to present the plan at a public meeting of the Select Board in the coming months.