It is fantastic news that our first Newton Power Choice contract will contain 60% renewable energy from New England-sourced electricity in the standard option. In November, Mayor Fuller negotiated 46% above the state-mandated 14% for 2019, and Green Newton is grateful to her for signing this new aggregation contract with these excellent terms. We also appreciate Newton’s Co-Directors of Sustainability Ann Berwick and William Ferguson for helping Mayor Fuller to make this wise decision.
In light of recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment, it is clear that the time remaining to avert the worst consequences of climate change is growing alarmingly short. Therefore, it is imperative for communities to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable, local and increasingly affordable wind and solar electricity.
Greening our grid through aggregated electricity with a high percent of renewable energy is a critical first step in a series of actions we must take to reduce our carbon footprint. Retrofitting our homes for alternative heating and ensuring new buildings are fossil fuel free, purchasing EVs, conserving energy, investing in mass transit and planting trees will bring us closer to a goal of a 45% cut in carbon pollution by 2030, as recommended by the IPCC. A commitment from us to take these actions is necessary to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis.
89% of our carbon footprint is community generated. The Mayor of Newton has pledged to pass a Climate Action Plan that is bold and outcomes-based, but if we as a community do not declare our commitment to make changes in how we live, do business, transport ourselves and consume, we will fall far short of urgently needed, time sensitive goals. We must make our priorities clear to the governments whose job it is to keep us safe.
We hope that Newton residents will magnify the environmental impact of our first community aggregation by choosing to opt up to 100% renewables when our Newton Power Choice contract launches in March 2019. It will cost on average less than $3 a month to do so. If you would like to help Green Newton to get the word out about this exciting opt up campaign, please contact [email protected]. Most importantly, we hope that you will engage in meaningful conversations at the local and state level to ensure that we can all manage a just transition off of fossil fuels in time.
Green Newton board members: Marcia Cooper, Dan Ruben and Cory Alperstein