Following is an email Sustainable Wellesley sent to all Town Meeting members. Feel free to review and share your thoughts on the topic with your Town Meeting members. They will vote TONIGHT. Thank you.
Dear Town Meeting Member,
As Wellesley’s Annual Town Meeting winds down, the leadership team of Sustainable Wellesley would like to bring your attention to one of the remaining Articles to be voted upon: Article 38.
This past Monday, the newest Report from the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), reported that we have moved too slowly to curb climate change, and recommended swift and aggressive steps to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. These top climate scientists warn us that Greenhouse Gas Emissions must peak within the next three years, and in the next eight years the world must push fossil fuels aside, while rapidly scaling up the use of clean energy like wind and solar.
A report out Thursday from the Washington Post bears this out, saying that methane emissions jumped by a record amount in 2021, while carbon dioxide emissions also rose more than 2 parts per million for the 10th consecutive year.
The upside of the IPCC report is that there is mounting evidence that transformative climate action can contribute to achieving the U.N.’s sustainable development goals, which include things like gender equality, education, health, and eliminating hunger and poverty.
Don’t care about any of those things or the environment? Then consider this: Another report on Monday, from the US Office of Management and Budget, outlines climate change’s potential impact on the federal budget, concluding that floods, droughts, wildfires and hurricanes could cost the U.S. $2 trillion each year by 2100. Based on the current US population, that’s roughly $6019 per man, woman and child each year. Plus, the US will likely pay additional funds to help support developing countries which will be even more devastated by climate change – we are already seeing the havoc.
What does all this have to do with Article 38? Emissions from buildings make up 63.3% of Wellesley’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Approving Motions 1, 3 and 4 under Article 38 will enable the Town of Wellesley to tackle emissions from new construction while not placing any great burden on property developers or the Planning Board. It is the first modest, but resolute, step our Town can take to adhere to our new Climate Action Plan. We hope it is the first of many.
Please vote in favor of Motions 1, 3 and 4 of Article 38.
The Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team