Several barriers to effective climate action in our town were identified by the Collins Center for Public Management in its August 2020 Organizational Assessment of Sustainability Functions. Based in part on the recommendations in that report, it is essential to reconstitute the Select Board's Climate Action Committee (SBCAC) as the Zero Emissions Advisory Board (ZEAB), a public body subject to the Open Meeting Law.
Appointees to the reconstituted ZEAB, through their expertise and commitment to climate action goals, should serve as advisers and partners to executive and elected leadership, especially the Town Administrator and Select Board, in defining and actualizing the Town’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), most notably the achievement of Zero Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions across both municipal and community wide functions by 2040. ZEAB should lead climate action in the Town, including proposing climate mitigation strategy, tactics, priorities, milestones, and public communication. Central to ZEAB’s work shall be consideration of environmental justice, of those most vulnerable to climate effects, and of those with the least means to contribute to climate solutions. It shall also coordinate with state level climate action.
The ZEAB, or its designated member(s), shall:
- Meet monthly with the Town Administrator, according to an agenda set by the Town Administrator and chair of the ZEAB, to prioritize, review, and approve policies, programs, & projects consistent with the Town’s CAP.
- Facilitate quarterly CAP conversations among the Town Administrator & Town department heads, to track progress & coordinate policies.
- Draft the CAP, in consultation with the Town Administrator, for annual re-consideration by the Select Board.
- Review & report on CAP progress in the Annual Town Report.