Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019

Goal targets 2050.

UPDATED, Aug. 13: Between this week’s heat wave and the U.N.’s climate crisis report's dire warnings, we’re now painfully aware of the reality of climate change. In that context, the Select Board unanimously endorsed Arlington’s net-zero action plan at its Aug. 9 meeting. 

“Our goal is to get Arlington on the path to reach net-zero greenhouse-gas pollution by 2050,” said Ken Pruitt, Arlington’s energy manager.

Pruitt and Jenny Raitt, director of planning and community development, presented to the board a 40-page report describing the plan. See the plan and presentation here >> 

The plan has three pillars to help the town reach net zero, explained Pruitt: 

  • Maximize and promote building energy efficiency;
  • Electrify everything: heating, water heating, cooking and transportation (including school buses); and
  • Green the grid, including the town’s electricity supply and generating more solar power. 

“Arlington has a long history of greenhouse-mitigation efforts, and recently filed a home-rule petition to reduce fossil fuels in town buildings. It will take a strong will to accomplish all the plan’s goals, so we’ll have a lot of advocacy efforts to leverage town partnerships and develop more specific plans,” said Raitt.

Select Board member Eric Helmuth said, “I’m excited to have this road map and toolkit so that Arlington’s leadership can do their part, and make some hard choices and long-term investments essential to our survival.”

Resident feedback

During the meeting’s open forum, several community members expressed their views.

Lynette Culverhouse said, “I’m impressed with this net-zero plan. However, residents are still tearing down houses and trees, and driving gas-consuming cars. Residents need to cut down carbon emissions.”

Beth Melofchik, Precinct 9 meeting member, said, “I’m terrified with the new U.N. report’s ‘code red for humanity,’ and ask everyone to embrace the notion of a tree-canopy plan.”

Watch the meeting recorded by ACMi:

Aug. 13, 2021: Link to info on town website

July 30, 2021: 
Mass. towns seek backing to lead on emission cuts


This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, and updated Aug. 13, to add link.