Climate Change

Issue summary

How will our community address Climate Change? 

Issue full description

Click here for the City of Newton's Five-Year Climate Action Plan
Long-term success is a carbon-neutral Newton by 2050. That is our goal.

This plan addresses six (6) areas of action. Six Areas of Action
A. Implementing Newton’s Climate Action Plan: The City is committed to ensuring the success of this Climate Action Plan by adapting internal operations and working with dedicated partners.
B. Promoting Clean and Renewable Energy: “Greening” the sources supplying electricity to the City is vital to the pathway to carbon neutrality. The City will promote and expand Newton Power Choice, increase local renewable energy production through the installation of municipal solar arrays and the promotion of private solar installations, and offset its own GHG emissions with the purchase of renewable electricity supply.
C. Greening Newton’s Transportation and Streetscapes: The second largest source of GHG emissions in Newton comes from on-road transportation. The City will support Newton’s residents, workforce, and visitors in switching to battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles; reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips; and increasing biking, walking, telecommuting, public transportation, and shared trips.
D. Improving New Construction and Major Renovations: Energy use reduction and electrification are the backbones of any GHG emissions reduction plan. As new developments are built and renovations are undertaken, the choices made by developers and architects will have a significant impact on the City’s GHG emissions profile. To the extent legally permissible, the City will take steps to ensure that construction meets standards necessary to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
E. Improving Existing Buildings: Existing residential and commercial buildings in Newton are responsible for a majority of the City’s GHG emissions. The City will work with owners to increase energy efficiency, reduce reliance on natural gas and heating oil, and increase the use of efficient electric technologies in the City’s existing building stock. Moving the needle for existing buildings will require the City to put in place “carrots and sticks” to incentivize significant action by the private sector.
F. Reducing Emissions associated with Consumption and Disposal: We will work to protect and enhance the City’s natural resource base and help Newtonians limit their consumption of goods and services and disposal of materials.