Frequently Asked Questions about the Maynard Climate Emergency Declaration
What does this Declaration do:
It asks the citizens to declare that a Climate Emergency exists and to support the Select Board in making plans to deal with it
What does the Select Board have to do?
The Select Board is requested to ask the Sustainability Committee to develop a Climate Action Plan to meet the Commonwealth goal of 50% reduction in Greenhouse gas by 2030 and to report on the progress at Town Meeting every year.
Why should I support it?
It will mean that the citizens of Maynard recognize that global warming is serious and must be addressed.
How will it work?
The Sustainability Committee will develop a Climate Action Plan and submit it annually to Town Meeting.
What will it cost the town?
There are no expenses tied to this petition. It just asks the select Board to empower the Sustainability Committee to develop a Climate Action Plan. Any expenses resulting from this action will have to be approved by the Finance Committee (FinCom) and the Select Board and passed at Town Meeting.
Eventually we will all have to transition to sustainable energy in order to survive as a species. If we do it sooner rather than later it will cost us less in the long term.
What will it cost me personally?
Absolutely nothing. However, the Sustainability Committee, acting in concert with other groups in town, will be able to access very large and available federal and state funds, which can be used by the town and the citizens to help defray the cost of environmentally beneficial upgrades.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, just published a report which concluded that the cost, by mid-century, will amount to just a few per cent of global GDP.
What kind of upgrades?
There are grants to help residents make their homes more energy efficient, to help people buy more energy efficient major appliances, to install solar panels on roofs, to help purchase electric cars, and install the electric infrastructure in homes to support them.
What other benefits are there of this declaration?
One of the expected effects of climate change will be great vacillations in weather patterns and increasing loss of species. This declaration will increase the emphasis on preservation of wetlands and forests, which are effective carbon sinks, protect us against floods, and preserve biodiversity.
Isn’t it impossible to go carbon neutral anyway?
No, it is absolutely possible for Maynard to gradually transition to carbon-neutral sources of energy. A climate action plan will prioritize shifting to electric sources of energy and shifting to sustainable forms of electricity.
Isn’t damage from climate change inevitable?
We have the power still to mitigate the worst effects of climate change if we act now. We can keep temperatures to within a livable range if we act now.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, just published a report setting out the tools we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stave off climate catastrophe. These tools— renewable energy, electric vehicles, low-carbon technology—exist and are sufficient to the task, the IPCC concluded.
Is it really an emergency?
Current policies will not be enough to bring about the change needed—they would take us to 3°C or more. We need new policies, fast. Fossil fuel infrastructure already in operation, planned or under construction is more than enough to bust the available carbon budget comprehensively, the IPCC found, so we must stop building more and retire what is already there.