Climate Action Advisory Board

Committee Charge

A. Background
As part of the town’s continuing efforts to address climate change, the Select Board established the Energy Future Task Force (EFTF) in 2016 and charged it broadly with creating a framework for the design and implementation of a townwide energy plan that will minimize Concord’s carbon footprint and that will be sustainable in the near- and long-term future.

The Select Board received the recommendations and the report by the EFTF and presented its findings at the 2017 Town meeting where the following town-wide climate goals were approved in a near-unanimous decision. (Note: the baseline year is 2008.)
• 25% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020
• 100% non-carbon emitting electricity by 2030
• 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050

In addition to setting the ambitious climate goals above, Article 51 created the position of Director of Sustainability for the Town and appropriated funds for a consultant to assist the Director and the town to develop an operational plan for achieving these goals. The Director is charged with developing and implementing a plan to achieve the Article 51 goals. Additional tasks include establishing benchmarks and metrics for measuring Concord’s sustainability performance, advancing Concord’s sustainability within residential, commercial, and municipal sectors, researching and recommending energy and climate resilience tools and techniques, and coordinating with Town Committees and Boards, businesses and residents.

B. Purpose

The Climate Action Advisory Board (Advisory Board) is being established to advise the Director of Sustainability and the Town on strategic implementation of Article 51 and town-wide climate goals. Such a Board was specifically recommended in the EFTF report, and should build upon that report as well as well as Concord’s Sustainability Principles (2011) and the most recent Concord Municipal Light Plant Strategic Plan (2017). The Advisory Board should also consider the recommendations of Article 23, which passed at 2018 Town Meeting, to consider climate resilience goals and initiatives in Concord.

The purpose, charge, and membership of this Advisory Board is intentially broad. Addressing climate change in Concord will require both mitigation (reducing our GHG emissions) and adaptation (ensuring we are resilient to impacts due climate change). Climate actions cut across boards, committees, departments, agencies, and community groups. And many climate actions have both GHG-reducing and climate resiliency benefits.

C. Duties and Responsibilities
The Advisory Board will be expected to provide strategic direction for achieving Concord’s climate goals. It will seek to reduce barriers and provide incentives to adopting policies, programs, and initiatives that will advance climate action in all sectors, residential, commercial and municipal, in Concord.

The Advisory Board will review Concord’s climate-related data (GHG inventory, energy consumption, vulnerability assessments, hazard mitigation plans, etc.) to help provide advice to the Town Manager, Sustainability Director and/or Select Board regarding new programs, policies, and initiatives to further reduce Concord’s carbon footprint and improve resilience to projected climate change impacts.

The Advisory Board will provide feedback to the Sustainability Director on the preparation of annual updates on the Town's progress toward meeting Article 51 and other climate goals.

The Advisory Board will identify and recommend opportunities to advance climate action
through coordination and collaboration between the Sustainability division, the Comprehensive
Sustainable Energy Committee and other Town departments, boards, committees, citizen
groups, etc.

The Advisory Board will help the Sustainability Director to identify and prioritize grant and other
funding opportunities that the Town should consider. The Board may also provide feedback on
grant and other funding applications.

The Advisory Board will also stay informed on leading trends, technologies, programs and
policies for reducing town-wide GHG emissions and ensuring climate resiliency. Board
members may be asked to research climate topics, technologies, and/or best practices to better
advise the Sustainability Director on strategic decisions.

This charge is not inclusive and the Board should pursue the interests and expertise of its
membership as they relate to the Town’s efforts to address climate change in such areas as, but
not limited to:
• The built environment including permitting, zoning, siting and code for new construction
and renovations for municipal, school, hospital, airport, commercial, industrial, and
residential structures
• Energy use and GHG emissions related to water and wastewater management
• Individual, shared and mass transportation systems and options to reduce emissions
from the transportation sector
• Sustainable policies for municipal procurement, building operations, and energy use
• Encouraging sustainable practices across sectors
• Renewable energy deployment
• Energy efficiency programs, policies and incentives
• Climate resilience tools and strategies, such as nature-based solutions
• Educational opportunities related to sustainability and resiliency efforts within the
community and in the Schools.

D. Membership
The members of the Climate Action Advisory Board shall be appointed by the Town Manager.
The term of office shall be three years, and the initial appointments shall be of one, two, and
three years so that terms shall be staggered. The committee shall be comprised of up to 9
members representing a diversity of interests. The membership shall include:
• At least one former member of the EFTF
• At least one representative recommended by the Concord Municipal Light Board
• At least one representative recommended by Concord Public Works
• At least one representative recommended by the Department of Planning and Land
• At least one representative of the business community
• A liaison from the Comprehensive Sustainable Energy Committee (non-voting)
• 4 members representing the following areas of interest and expertise: education; public
policy; strategic planning; renewable energy; energy resource management; carbon and
climate change mitigation and adaptation; sustainability management; community
engagement; architecture; urban planning; green building; and/or environment and
energy regulatory affairs.

E. Other Considerations
The Advisory Board shall elect a chair and a committee clerk, who will be responsible for
maintaining the record of the committee’s discussions, votes and actions.

All meetings will be conducted in conformance with the Open Meeting Law including proper
notice and posting of meetings, and all records will be maintained in conformance with the
Public Record Law.

Requests for staff assistance or operating expenses will be made through the Town Manager
who will endeavor to comply with reasonable requests.