City of Northampton, Massachusetts
In the City Council, January 4, in the Year Two Thousand and Eighteen
Upon the recommendation of Councilor Alisa F. Klein, Councilor William H. Dwight, the Northampton Mayor’s Youth Commission, and the Northampton Energy and Sustainability Commission
Resolution of the City Council of the City of Northampton in Support of 100 Percent Renewable Energy
too much of our energy in the State of Massachusetts and the City of Northampton comes from fossil fuels that pollute our air and water and damage our climate; and
Massachusetts communities are already experiencing the impacts of global warming through environmental phenomena such as rising sea levels, unprecedentedly severe storms, temperature extremes, and elevated particulate matter and smog pollution; and public health dangers such as an increase in pollution-related asthma and cardiovascular disease1; and
a goal of 100 percent renewable, clean energy will contribute to the mitigation of climate change, improve our City’s air and water quality, and protect the health of our community’s children, adults, and families; and
the City of Northampton is already a proven leader in actively reducing carbon emissions and promoting clean energy by:
Developing and implementing the Sustainable Northampton master plan;
1 Hellerstein, B., Aristizabal, N., & Eddy, D. (August, 2017). 100% Renewable Boston: How Boston can accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. Boston: Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center.
Conducting the HeatSmart Northampton initiative
- Implementing energy efficiency upgrades in municipal buildings and street lights;
- Requiring new or renovated city buildings to meet LEED standards,
- Purchasing electric vehicles and installing public charging stations oncity property;
- Mayor David J. Narkewicz signing onto the Global Covenant of Mayor for Climate & Energy committing the City to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing resilience to climate change; and signing onto the Climate Mayors Agreement to
- The City Council passing unanimously an April 20, 2017 Resolution Calling on the Massachusetts Legislature to Establish Carbon Pollution Pricing to Curb Climate Change;
- and the transition to 100 percent renewable energy will promote employment opportunities and economic growth in Massachusetts and Northampton, facilitate local control and ownership over energy options, and bring tangible benefits to low-income residents and others who have historically been disadvantaged by fossil fuel-based energy systems;
- and the State of Massachusetts and the City of Northampton can get 100 percent of our energy from clean, renewable sources by harnessing our abundant solar and wind resources and taking advantage of innovations in energy efficiency, green transportation, energy storage, and other technologies;
- and as Northampton revises its Sustainable Northampton plan for the next 10 years, it is incumbent upon us to continue our environmental leadership throughout the State and the United States by adopting an ambitious and comprehensive plan to phase out the use of fossil fuels, transition to renewable energy, and incorporate many principles consistent with the concepts outlined herein; and
Constructing a large municipal solar array on a capped landfill,
installing solar panels on several city-owned buildings, and promoting
a successful Solarize Northampton program;
residents and businesses to install cold climate air source heat pumps; to encourage
Developing and expanding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructurethroughout the City;
adopt and uphold the climate change mitigation goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement despite
President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Agreement;
S.1849 – An Act Transitioning Massachusetts to 100 Percent Renewable Energy,
currently being considered in the Massachusetts State Legislature, call for the transition of the Commonwealth to “100
percent clean, renewable energy by 2050 in order to (1) avoid pollution of our air, water and land, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately eliminate our use of fossil fuels and other polluting and dangerous forms of energy; (2) increase energy security by reducing our reliance on imported sources of energy and maximizing renewable energy production in Massachusetts and in our region; (3) increase economic development by stimulating public and private investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects; (4) create local jobs by harnessing Massachusetts’ skilled workforce, business leadership, and academic institutions to advance new technologies, improve the energy performance of homes and workplaces, and deploy renewable energy across the commonwealth; and (5) improve the quality of life and economic well-being of all Massachusetts residents, with an emphasis on communities and populations that have been disproportionately affected by pollution and high costs under our energy system.
and H.3395 – An Act To Transition Massachusetts to 100 Percent
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of Northampton, Massachusetts supports rapid attainment of a goal of 100 percent clean, renewable energy for the State of Massachusetts and the City of Northampton.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Northampton should consider all municipal decisions in light of whether or not they will bring the City and its residents, businesses, and institutions closer to 100 percent renewable energy, and will avoid taking actions that could increase the use of fossil fuels or delay the transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Northampton should strive to continue to take actions that promote clean energy and reduce fossil fuel use, including:
- Continued energy efficiency upgrades in municipal buildings;
- Continued promotion of energy efficiency upgrades in private homes and businesses; and
- Consideration of the use of municipal electricity aggregation (“Community Choice Aggregation” or “CCA,” also known as “Community Choice Energy” or “CCE”) jointly with other nearby municipalities pursuant to G. L. c. 164, § 134 to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, stabilize our electricity rates, and add resiliency to our electric grid through the development of a comprehensive energy plan to reduce our energy consumption, develop local renewable energy generation, and exceed the Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement for class 1 RECS in our energy supply.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council of Northampton, Massachusetts supports S.1849 and H.3395, applauds Representative Peter V. Kocot for signing on as a petitioner to H.3395, and urges the Massachusetts Senate, House of Representatives, and the Governor of the Commonwealth to adopt in a timely manner these or other similar bills that will bring Massachusetts in line with a 100 percent renewable future.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Administrative Assistant to the City Council shall cause a copy of this resolution to be sent to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren; U.S. Senator Ed Markey; U.S. Representative James McGovern; MA Governor Charles Baker; MA Acting Senate President Harriette L. Chandler; MA Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo; MA State Representative Peter V. Kocot; Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz; lead sponsor of S. 1849, Senator James B. Eldridge; Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, State Senator Michael J. Barrett; House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr.; Senate Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, State Senator Michael D. Brady; House Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, State Representative Frank A. Moran; all members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy: State Senators Marc R. Pacheco, Anne M. Gobi, Joan B. Lovely, Bruce E. Tarr; and State Representatives James M. Cantwell, Carolyn C. Dykema, Nick Collins, Josh S. Cutler, Adrian Madaro, Daniel Cahill, Joan Meschino, Leonard Mirra, and Randy Hunt.
~ This resolution was developed with enormous thanks to Northampton residents Adele Franks and Sam Titelman who initiated the idea and gathered data for inclusion in the resolution. ~