What Should Be In Belfast’s Climate Action Plan?

The City of Belfast's Climate Crisis Committee, with support from ABCD, is leading in the development of a climate action plan for Belfast. The purpose of a climate action plan is to document citizens’ values and priorities to guide decisions, and lay out a timeline of actions to increase our community’s resilience. 

We invite your input during our ongoing series of “Community Climate Conversations,” covering topics such as transportation, land use, energy efficiency in homes and buildings, flooding, and food insecurity.

“Community Climate Conversations” upcoming events

The Future of Transportation in Belfast & Waldo County

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a $13.3M grant will help 13 Maine school districts buy 34 electric-vehicle school buses this year. Searsport RSU 20 received an award for two EV school buses ($790,000). Credit: NewsCenter Maine

Thursday, February 9th, 2022 at 6:30 PM
Belfast Free Library in the Abbott Room (in person)

with Zoom option also available

Register for the Zoom link.

Did you know transportation accounts for 49% of greenhouse gas emissions, both in Belfast and statewide? Join us for this program in our series of community climate conversations that began on June 14th, 2022 seeking public input to develop a climate action plan for Belfast.

Electric vehicle use, transitioning buses and municipal fleets, reducing vehicle miles traveled through increased access to broadband, public transit, and opportunities to bike and walk… these are all part of Maine’s strategy to reduce transportation emissions.

What about Belfast and Waldo County? Come learn about what has already been accomplished and what opportunities are available, hear what others are doing, and share your questions, ideas, and priorities.

Co-sponsored by ABCD and the City of Belfast Climate Crisis Committee (CCC).

Reports and Resources related to Climate Action Planning in Maine:

Just released! The NEW! Maine Won't Wait, Year Two Progress Report December 1, 2022 and the new Maine Won't Wait Climate Dashboard

Maine Won't Wait: A Four Year Plan for Climate Action, December 2020. Maine Climate Council

Maine Won't Wait One-Year Progress Report, December 1, 2021

Examples of Climate Action Plans from other towns:

Town of Mount Desert Climate Action Plan, and Implementation Guide.

York, Maine Climate Action Plan

Past events

Modernizing Our Homes & Buildings

Thursday, December 8th, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Belfast Free Library in the Abbott Room (in person)

with Zoom option also available

View the recording of this event and read a full summary of presentations & the community discussion here

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Resources for "Modernizing Our Homes & Buildings" 12/8/22 community meeting:

Community Input form for attendees on Zoom

What Belfast is Doing With Buildings_handout 12-8-22

Maine municipalities are often faced with budget pressures and high operating costs to maintain older municipal buildings. Energy efficiency is a great way for municipalities to save energy and money, and improve comfort, safety, and maintenance costs. Image credit: Efficiency Maine

Maine municipalities are often faced with budget pressures and high operating costs to maintain older municipal buildings. Energy efficiency is a great way for municipalities to save energy and money, and improve comfort, safety, and maintenance costs. Image credit: Efficiency MaineThursday, December 8th the public is invited to a community climate conversation about modernizing Belfast’s homes & buildings for energy efficiency and cost savings and to help us reduce greenhouse gasses.

According to Maine Won’t Wait, the state’s 4-year climate action plan, “Heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings are responsible for almost one-third of Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions. Maine can reduce greenhouse gasses by modernizing our buildings to use cleaner energy, increase energy efficiency, and utilize lower-carbon building materials.”

With two introductory speakers (see below), we will ground our conversation in the State of Maine’s goals and progress, as well as sharing examples of actions that are currently being undertaken by several Maine communities. We’ll present a brief summary of the actions Belfast is already taking to modernize buildings and increase energy efficiency. We will encourage audience participation to discuss ideas and actions property owners can take to save money and energy in heating, cooling and lighting their homes and businesses, and take part in planning what our community should do in coming years.

The event, co-sponsored by All of Belfast Climate Dialogues (ABCD), a project of the Belfast Free Library and the City of Belfast Climate Crisis Committee (CCC) will take place in the Abbott Room of the Library. A hybrid zoom option will be made available also (check back shortly for the link to register).

Ross Anthony, the Buildings and Energy Efficiency Analyst for the Maine Governor’s Energy Office
Ross Anthony, Buildings and Energy Efficiency Analyst for the Maine Governor’s Energy Office

Ross Anthony, the Buildings and Energy Efficiency Analyst for the Maine Governor’s Energy Office, will provide an update on the energy landscape in Maine as it relates to buildings. He will share progress on the state's climate action plan, Maine Won't Wait; upcoming opportunities with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and IRA Inflation Reduction Act; and ways for communities to get involved.

Ross Anthony serves as the Buildings and Energy Efficiency Analyst for the Maine Governor’s Energy Office. In his previous role, Ross was a consultant for energy industry projects for commercial, industrial, and residential energy efficiency and market assessments, demand side management, climate change mitigation, and energy savings potential at the state and federal level for public and private clients. Ross was born and raised in Evansville, IN and holds a BSc in economics from the University of Evansville (Evansville, IN) and a MSc in resource economics and policy from the University of Maine (Orono, ME).

Naomi Albert, Project Manager, Comprehensive Building Solutions Program at A Climate To Thrive, Mount Desert
Naomi Albert, Project Manager, Comprehensive Building Solutions Program at A Climate To Thrive, Mount Desert

Naomi Albert, Project Manager of the soon-to-be-launched (January 2023) Comprehensive Building Solutions Program at A Climate To Thrive, Mount Desert, will speak about how ACTT saw the community need for a program to first educate about the benefits of an efficient, clean energy home and, second to provide guidance and support for a comprehensive approach to weatherization, heat pumps, solar, and other energy saving building upgrades.

Naomi has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Planning. She is passionate about local climate action and has spent the past several years working on climate planning in California.

 

Building Resilience to Big Storms & Flooding

Stormwater erosion on Poors Mills Road in Belfast on October 31 2021
October 31, 2021 stormwater erosion on Poors Mills Road, Belfast. Photo credit: Fred Bowers.

Tuesday, October 18th at 6:00 pm
Belfast Free Library in the Abbott Room (in person)

with Zoom option also available

We had 40 engaged citizens attend this event in October. Thank you to all who attended and shared their thoughts! Check out the recording of the event here, read a summary and view the meeting handouts.

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After a short presentation on the impacts of stormwater, our discussion will focus on actions property owners can take today, actions we can take together in the coming year or two, and more significant infrastructure improvements that we want to make happen in the future.

Desired outcomes for this meeting:

  • Understand how more extreme precipitation events will impact us.
  • Learn about WHERE the problem areas are in our city.
  • Identify creative solutions by community organizations, businesses, & individuals.
  • Better understand who’s responsible for what? (Maine DOT, City, & landowners).
  • Begin planning & prioritizing: immediate needs (what happens if there’s a big storm tomorrow?; 1/2 years (what can we manage with no big budge changes and with creative solutions); 3+ years (projects we want to design and raise funds for).

Public Discussion on Belfast’s Climate Action Plan Draft

June 14, 2022

flip chart from June 14 2022 meeting for community input on Belfasts Climate Action Plan
"Daydream" exercise envisioning Belfast as part of June 14, 2022 community input meeting to Belfast's Climate Action Plan

The community discussion on the initial draft of the Belfast Climate Action Plan held June 14th (a hybrid Zoom and in-person with 50+ people attending) was an inspiring event! Participants discussed transportation, land use, equity in finding solutions that work for all citizens regardless of their financial status, and visions for Belfast's future.
Read the synopsis here.

Download the 5/2/22 Climate Action Plan draft which was discussed during the meeting. (Note, there is a newer version in progress.)
Download the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report here.

 

Give your feedback on the issues you care about

4 ways you can share your input & ideas:

  1. Attend a Community Climate Conversation (see events above).
  2. Email the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee at [email protected] with your suggestions or questions. Please put CAP in the subject.
  3. Take the quick survey below to tell us what you think should be prioritized in the Climate Action Plan.
  4. Please, spread the word! Share through Facebook, Instagram, the ABCD email newsletter, and especially in person with your friends and neighbors.

Take the community survey