Wellesley has released a new Climate Action Plan outlining specific steps the town will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and help build resilience in the face of global warming.
Dr. Marybeth Martello, Wellesley’s sustainability director, said the town must do more to address climate change.
“Climate change is not some theoretical possibility on the horizon,” Martello said in a statement. “We’re already witnessing and paying the price for climate change impacts, including tree damage from extreme storms, increased flooding, poor air quality, and the rise of insect-borne illnesses. We have a moral obligation to address this existential crisis.”
Last year, Wellesley’s Town Meeting set a goal of cutting emissions in half by the end of the decade, and a three-quarter reduction by 2040. The town aims to have net zero emissions by 2050, the statement said.
The reductions in emissions are aligned with the state’s own carbon neutrality goals, according to the action plan’s report. Wellesley will need help to reach these goals, according to the report.
“Our ability to meet these emissions reduction goals depends on action by the state and federal government, regional partners, and businesses within our community and beyond,” the report said. “We’ll need the support of these partners to obtain technical and financial resources, coordinate regional responses, and create new solutions to reduce GHGs further and faster.”
The Climate Action Plan was developed with community input, and is organized around areas such as governance, energy, buildings, mobility, natural resources, and waste.
The plan follows previous work in Wellesley on initiatives for greenhouse gas emission reduction and sustainability efforts, according to the statement.
Working on climate issues will reduce future costs for Wellesley and yield additional economic, health, ecosystem, and infrastructure benefits, Martello said.
“Goals and actions outlined in the Plan are tangible and meaningful ways to protect our planet, our community, and our children,” Martello said.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.