The Parks and Open Space Division supports climate change initiatives and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to regional and global climate change. This webpage provides information and links to the town's Climate Action Plan, town and local climate change organizations and activities, and other useful sources of up-to-date information on climate change.
Climate Change & Open Space
Open space is critical for minimizing, mitigating, and adapting to climate change. Trees and vegetation cool the air through evapotranspiration, shading and other methods, and plants capture carbon in their tissues through photosynthesis, keeping a significant amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas out of the atmosphere.
Open space mitigates flooding, droughts and other extreme weather events that are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. The open space system provides habitat and resources for wildlife and plants, which may be threatened by climate change. In addition, use of local parks and open spaces can be a low- or no-carbon recreation activity, and using the open space system for walking and biking can decrease vehicle emissions.
The town's Open Space and Recreation Plan provides more details on climate change and open space, and includes many goals and objectives related to addressing climate change.
Climate Action Plan
In February 2002, the Town of Brookline completed its first Local Action Plan on Climate Change. This plan followed a resolution passed by the Board of Selectmen in April 2000 for the town to participate in the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign through the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). The town subsequently completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and report, set an emissions reduction target, and completed the Local Action Plan.
In December 2012, the Selectmen approved an updated 2012 Climate Action Plan (PDF), which was developed by the Selectmen's Climate Action Committee.
The town also completed a Sustainability Inventory (PDF) in July 2002.
Selectmen's Climate Action Committee
In 2008, the Board of Selectmen established the Selectmen's Climate Action Committee (CAC) in conjunction with a resolution passed by town meeting that May. A member of the Conservation Commission serves on this standing committee.
Their webpage includes information on the committee's responsibilities, members, and reports of their current activities, accomplishments, and work plans for the future.
Climate Action Brookline
Climate Action Brookline (CAB) is a local group of volunteer activists committed to the vision of Brookline evolving from an energy-consuming community to an energy-conserving community. CAB is a member of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN), a network of local and statewide groups dedicated to halting the threat of global climate change.
CAB's website includes ways to cut carbon, an events calendar, success stories, ways to get involved, and other resources.
Brookline Tomorrow: Climate Action Today
Brookline Tomorrow is an initiative co-sponsored by Climate Action Brookline and the Selectmen's Climate Action Committee. The challenge is designed to raise awareness about the importance of reducing the carbon footprint of our community. Everyone, from individual residents to organizations and businesses, can help address the national challenge of climate change by taking action at the local level here in Brookline. You can find out more and sign up to become a Brookline Tomorrow partner on their website.