Climate Action in Concord
In 2017, Concord set a goal to reduce community-wide GHG emissions 80% by 2050. At our current pace, we won’t meet that goal.
- Emissions dropped about 1% per year between 2008 and 2016.
- To get on-track to 80% reduction by 2050, we need to reduce by 2.5% per year.
- To meet the IPCC’s latest recommendation, we need to reduce emissions in Concord by an average of 3.5% per year.
We also need to be prepared for a changing climate because even as we reduce our GHG emissions, we know that decades of increasing global emissions have made climate impacts inevitable. We are already experiencing impacts in Concord in the form of increased flooding, droughts, heat, and intense storms, and we can expect more.
Sound scary? Well, the good news is that there are steps we can take to reduce our emissions and make our community more resilient to a changing climate, while protecting our natural resources, preserving town character, and ensuring equitable access to transportation.
That is why we’ve developed our first comprehensive climate action and resilience plan, Sustainable Concord.
Our response: Concord’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan
Sustainable Concord is our roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 and to address the impacts of climate change on our community.
We worked together as a community, relying on plan advisors, best practices, town data and reports, and ideas from community members to identify climate actions that will have the highest impact.
The result is 22 priority actions organized into 5 plan elements – built environment, energy, mobility, natural resources, and preparedness. We are seeking to increase electrification and reduce emissions from our built environment. Achieving 100% carbon-free electricity supply by 2030 will amplify those benefits and reduce our emissions by over 23%. Transportation contributes significantly to town-wide emissions and we can reduce that by driving electric and making it easier to opt for biking, walking, and taking public transit. Ensuring that our natural resources can adapt to a changing climate will require that we conserve water, practice sustainable landscaping, and key an eye on our tree canopy and forests. And lastly, smart planning like integrated water resource management and low-impact development will prepare our community’s infrastructure to withstand future climate impacts.
Concord has been committed to sustainability for decades. You may be wondering what makes this plan different, new and bold?
- First, this plan addresses both climate mitigation (reducing GHG emissions) and resilience (being prepared for the impacts of climate change). Concord committed to both at 2017 and 2018 Annual Town Meetings and both are critical to climate action.
- Second, it prioritizes the high-impact actions to take in the next 5 years AND most importantly, details steps for how to move forward on implementation.
The Dashboard: Learning more and getting involved
What’s next? Success in achieving our community’s ambitious goals will require an all-hands-on-deck approach.
You can get started today by learning more about the plan and how you can get involved with our exciting new interactive website, the Sustainable Concord Dashboard!
- Explore plan – Use this site as an interactive way to learn about the priority actions and explore the detailed implementation blueprints.
- Interact with the data – Each tile on the dashboard explains how that element is critical to climate action and allows you to track and interact with some of the key indicators of success.
- Know what’s happening – As we put the plan in motion, we’ll update the status of the priority actions so we can track our progress. We’ll also be sharing regular updates via the blog on how you can get involved.
- Take action – Whether you have a passion for electric vehicles or natural resources, or you just want to find easy ways to contribute, this is where you can find out how to get involved and help us meet our goals outlined in the plan.