Two weeks ago (way back when groups were still meeting in person), Sustainable Middlesex hosted a ‘Carbon Countdown’ in Winchester. Sustainable Middlesex fosters collaboration and communication among local climate-conscious grassroots organizations. About 120 people attended, from 26 communities, including four members of the Bedford Mothers Out Front team.
Our own Senator Michael Barrett introduced the Senate’s Next Generation Climate Policy bills, focusing on the energy bill, S.2500. If enacted into law, this bill will strengthen existing law by setting state- and economy-wide greenhouse gas limits of “NetZero” by 2050, instead of the existing 80% goal. To achieve NetZero, carbon emissions must be reduced and all remaining emissions offset. Bedford has a NetZero plan that addresses emissions from buildings, but not transportation or agriculture.
Representative Christina Minicucci of North Andover spoke about the FUTURE Act (H.2849/S.1940). Written in response to the 2018 Merrimack Valley pipeline explosions and endorsed by Mothers Out Front, the FUTURE Act mandates improvements to the safety of current infrastructure and a path forward for gas utilities to offer alternative heat sources. She was followed by a team from Brookline, who spoke about their recently passed ban on gas hookups in new construction and major renovations. More about the dangers of gas can be found in a 2019 report, Rolling the Dice: Assessment of Gas System Safety in Massachusetts.
Current activities in 13 area towns, including Bedford, were presented in a Town Climate Action survey. The results are posted on the Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (GWAC) website. Links to other information about the event can also be found there.