Energy & Climate Action Committee

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Committee Charge

Type: Standing
Legal Reference: Amherst Home Rule Charter Section 2.5
Appointing Authority: Town Manager per Amherst Home Rule Charter Section 3.3(c)
Number of Voting Members: Nine (9)
Term of Appointment: Three (3) years
Special Municipal Employee: Yes*
Staff Support: Town Manager or designee(s)
Members                                               Year Appointed                   Term Expiration
Dwayne Breger20192021
Laura Draucker20192022
Darcy DuMont, Town Councilor20192021
Ashwin Ravikumar20192020
Steve Roof20192020
Andra Rose20192022
Evan Ross, Town Councilor20192020
Jesse Selman20192022
Vacancy (1)

Composition: Nine (9) voting members:

● Two (2) current Town Councilors

● Seven (7) residents, some of whom shall have experience with one or more of the following areas: net zero energy building; energy efficient retrofits; climate change mitigation/advocacy/research; clean energy practice/policy/infrastructure; community choice energy; green infrastructure for climate adaptation; sustainable transportation; sustainable farming and forestry; waste reduction; and environmental or climate justice, and other relevant areas.

Purpose:

The Energy and Climate Action Committee (ECAC) shall guide the Town in meeting its climate mitigation and resilience goals.

Charge: The ECAC shall:

1) Recommend for adoption to the Town Council long-term climate action goals that focus on reducing greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions and building resilience within and across the Town’s residential, commercial, and municipal sectors, including roadmaps of steps to achieve goals.

2) Recommend for adoption to the Town Council target dates, benchmarks and/or annual/interannual climate mitigation goals to achieve:

a) Climate Action goals adopted in Article 16 passed by the Fall 2017 Special Amherst Town Meeting [100% renewable energy/electricity];

b) Other emissions reductions goals adopted by Town Council.

3) Plan and prioritize cross-sector efforts to reduce Town’s GHG emissions and build climate resilience. 

4) Recommend to the Town Council and Town Manager programs and policies to implement GHG reduction goals and climate resilience planning in such areas as, but not limited to: 

a) Energy; 

b) Built environment; 

c) Transportation; 

d) Land use; 

e) Water;

f) Solid waste; 

g) Infrastructure; and 

h) Open space, agriculture and forestry 

5) Propose, as necessary, to the Town Council and/or Town Manager: 

a) The creation of task forces to implement emissions reduction or climate resilience initiatives; 

b) Strategic options and incentives that seek to overcome barriers to implementation of climate action goals; 

c) Actions to protect environmental justice communities from disproportionate effects of climate change; 

d) Measures that assist in tracking and reporting Town’s progress towards fulfilling climate action goals; 

e) Funding opportunities the Town should consider. 

6) Promote a holistic and intersectional approach to climate action through: 

a) Work with relevant multiple-member bodies to help ensure that the Town’s Master Plan [Charter Section 9.8(c)] integrates and codifies the benchmarks and progress in all sectors towards climate action goals; 

b) Coordination with other multiple-member bodies, businesses and residents, regional organizations, and institutions on programs and policies associated with climate and sustainability; 

c) Engagement of the public and relevant stakeholders in education, planning, goal setting and development of climate actions, with attention to inclusion of underrepresented groups and environmental justice communities, including, but not limited to, holding an annual public forum focused on climate action and the work of the ECAC; 

d) Work with Town Manager to solicit feedback from impacted Town departments on ECAC recommendations and proposals; 

e) Serving as a resource, as appropriate, to Town staff on climate action goals and strategies upon request. 

Reports: The ECAC shall report annually to the Town Council the following:

● Progress towards climate action goals; 

● Measures taken to reduce emissions and build resilience; 

● Evaluation of the effectiveness and implementation of these measures; 

● Funding needed to enable initiatives recommended by the ECAC; and 

● Community engagement. 

Charge Adopted: February 11, 2019 Charge Revised: April 22, 2019

SME Status Voted: April 22, 2019

*Per M.G.L. Ch. 268A Sec. 1(n), the Councilors serving on ECAC cannot claim SME status, even though the ECAC Committee, as an entity, is designated as such.