Opinion: Why do we need the Hingham Climate Action Commission?

Courtesy Photo

April 19, 2023 By Laura Burns

Hingham’s climate action plan is nearing completion under the aegis of the current Climate Action Planning Committee (CAPC). At Town Meeting on Monday, April 24, we will be asked to create a new Town committee, the Hingham Climate Action Commission (HCAC), to be charged with implementing Hingham’s climate plan.

Please join me in voting YES on Article 23 at Town Meeting to create this permanent commission, which will shepherd us through the difficult challenges ahead. 

The CAPC was convened to do one thing: draft Hingham’s plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, as directed by Town Meeting. With the presentation of the plan to the Select Board, their job will end.

Reaching net-zero carbon emissions in Hingham is a lofty goal. We know from experience that in order to accomplish a town goal over time, the job must be entrusted to an empowered entity within town government, whether that be an existing board or committee, a Town administrative unit, or a new entity.  Any of these, or several, might be needed to accomplish a goal, depending on the scope of the problem being addressed.

Doing our part to minimize climate change in our own backyard is no small challenge, and it won’t be quick.  It will take decades to put our plan fully into action. Over time, personnel at Town Hall and membership of boards change.  The Hingham Climate Action Commission will provide an enduring “institutional memory.”  It will be a center of expertise and the focal point for leadership and accountability as we work to achieve our goals.  We know there are plenty of talented, well-qualified volunteers in Hingham who are eager to tackle this job. Let’s give them their chance!

Please join me in voting YES for Article 23 at Town Meeting on Monday, April 24th , 7:00 PM!

-Laura Burns, for Hingham Net Zero

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