Camden recently became Maine’s first municipality to join the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, an international alliance of municipal governments seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Select Board approved the measure at it March 13 meeting.
The covenant provides support and guidance as each participating municipality identifies actions it will address, sets measurable reduction targets, and establishes a timeframe for completion, according to a news release from the Camden Energy and Sustainability Committee.
Students from Watershed School and Camden Hills Regional High School Windplanners student group, along with support from the energy committee, urged the Select Board to take action to reduce climate threats and plan for climate adaptation.
Following discussion, the Camden Select Board voted unanimously to enroll in the Covenant, joining more than 7,500 signatory cities and towns around the globe.
The Global Covenant of Mayors, students noted, offers communities a way to advance the goals of the international Paris Climate Accord through a customized local action plan. It provides a framework to help municipal officials identify ways to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the community’s resilience in the face of climate disruptions.
The Town will begin by establishing an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions generated by municipal sources, including buildings and vehicles.
It will then set targets for reducing those emissions and, within three years, begin work to achieve those targets.
Watershed students have offered to undertake the greenhouse gas emissions inventory as part of their climate change class this spring, following up on two studies prepared by Watershed students in 2015 and 2017: Carbon Neutral Camden and Getting on Board: Preparing for Sea Level Rise in Camden, Maine (both available online by searching on Town of Camden website.
“The Global Covenant of Mayors offers a proven process to start addressing climate change,” said Marc Ratner, a Camden Select Board member who serves as a liaison to its Energy Committee. “We’re proud to join this initiative and hope that we’re just the first of many municipalities in Maine to do so.”