Climate Action Plan Development: Spring 2023
The Town of Lincoln is gathering input for a Climate Action Plan that will guide efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase our community’s resilience to climate change impacts.
Learn more about this project and climate change on this page – including how to get involved!
Lincoln recently received a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant for technical assistance to support the development of a Climate Action Plan for Lincoln (L-CAP). The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will is providing technical assistance.
The MVP program emphasizes the importance of building climate resilience in communities and incorporating environmental justice and equity throughout the process. Learn more about the MVP program on their website: resilientma.mass.gov/
The project team will create a climate action plan identifying strategies to address climate change by reducing carbon emissions, while simultaneously improving the Town’s resilience to climate impacts, the community’s health, and residents’ day-to-day lives.
We want to hear from you! There are different opportunities available to share your input (please see the Events section below).
Work on the Climate Action Plan will continue through June 2023. See our expected project phases below.
1. Refining Engagement
This phase includes meeting with stakeholders to learn more about the Town and local priorities, interests, and concerns. The team is also reviewing the community’s existing climate action and equity data.
2. Sharing Experiences, Goals, and Strategies
Engaging with community members to learn about your experiences, your vision for a more sustainable and climate resilient Lincoln, and the strategies you’d like to see implemented.
3. Developing and Evaluating Strategies
Working with community members, municipal employees and additional stakeholders to further refine and prioritize strategies for the plan.
4. Plan Launch and Next Steps
Celebrating the launch of the Lincoln Climate Action Plan and sharing next steps for its implementation.
In addition to the project team members listed below, the Climate Action Plan is driven and supported by stakeholders throughout the community. That includes residents, businesses, community organizations, Town staff and many of the Town’s boards and committees – including the Green Energy Committee and Climate Action Lincoln Subcommittee.
Town of Lincoln
The Town is working to become more sustainable, while also preparing for the impacts residents are already experiencing due to climate change. The Department of Planning and Land Use is managing this effort.
Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is the regional planning agency serving the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston. MAPC’s mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. Our regional plan, MetroCommon 2050, guides our work as we engage the public in responsible stewardship of our region’s future. As the Town’s vendor, MAPC is supporting Lincoln with facilitation and technical expertise.
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA)
EOEEA is the grant funding agency supporting this project with a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant. The MVP Action Grant supports communities in adapting to climate impacts including flooding and severe heat. Learn more at: Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program Action Grant.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Climate Action Plan?
Climate Action Planning assists communities in preparing for climate impacts and mitigating carbon emissions through inclusive community outreach and engagement, the identification of needs and goals, the development of actionable strategies to increase resilience and sustainability, and centering equity and environmental justice throughout the process. A climate action plan is a culmination of these efforts.
How can we center equity in climate action planning?
We should consider who has been historically impacted by climate, who will be most impacted by the changes we expect to see in the future, and how the benefits of identified strategies can be equitably distributed. Climate action strategies can offer environmental, economic, and public health-related co-benefits. For example, green infrastructure that soaks up flooding and provides a cooling effect can also help create accessible outdoor public spaces. For more information, check out MAPC’s Framework for Equity: https://www.mapc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03052020-Playbook_Framework-for-Equity.pdf
How is this project related to the Town’s previous work?
This project seeks to build on Lincoln’s existing climate-related plans and projects, including the Town’s existing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report, Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Plan, and more.
Carbon Emissions: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted when fossil fuels are burned in vehicles, buildings, and other industrial processes (such as in factories). Source: https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/carbon-emissions
Carbon Neutral: achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by balancing those emissions so they are equal (or less than) the emissions that get removed through the planet’s natural absorption; in basic terms it means we reduce our emissions through climate action. Source: https://unfccc.int/blog/a-beginner-s-guide-to-climate-neutrality
Carbon sequestration: the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change. Source: https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-carbon-sequestration
Clean energy: Sources of electricity or heating/cooling derived from non-fossil fuel-based technologies including solar photovoltaics, solar hot water, wind, geothermal, air source heat pumps, as well as other emerging technologies such as waste energy recovery from sewers, data centers and the like. These sources are known as clean energy or renewable energy, because they are not from limited resources like coal, gas, and oil. Source: MAPC.
Climate Change: Describes the long-term changes in average weather patterns, temperatures, and precipitation across the world due to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere. Scientific consensus shows that current climate change is caused by human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere causing global temperatures to increase. While global average temperatures are rising, the local impact to weather may include both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as changes in precipitation (rain and snow), increased risk of severe weather events, sea level rise, and other changes to weather systems. In addition to extreme weather impacts, climate change affects the world around us including shifts in agricultural and growing seasons, pollen and air quality changes, tourism, insect borne diseases, pests, and other impacts to the environment. Source: MAPC.
Decarbonization: Reducing the use of carbon-emitting energy sources, usually in the energy, buildings, and transportation sectors. Source: MAPC.
Electric vehicle (EV): A vehicle that is powered fully or mostly by electricity. Source: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/glossary/
Electrification: Converting a machine or system to the use of electrical power. Source: MAPC.
Energy Burden: Energy burden is defined as the percentage of a household’s income spent on home energy bills. In Massachusetts, the average energy burden is about three percent. However, the average energy burden for low-income populations is about 10 percent, and, in certain neighborhoods, energy burden is as high as 31 percent. This means that some low-income families are spending close to a third of their income on energy bills alone, sometimes forcing them to choose between paying their utility bills and spending money on essentials like food, rent, or medicine. Source: https://www.mapc.org/planning101/reducing-energy-burden-resources-for-low-income-residents/
Energy Efficiency: The use of less energy to perform the same task or produce the same result. Energy-efficient homes and buildings use less energy to heat, cool, and run appliances and electronics, and energy-efficient manufacturing facilities use less energy to produce goods. Source: https://www.energy.gov/eere/energy-efficiency
Energy Insecurity: People who are unable to pay for basic energy needs such as heating, cooling, and lighting in their homes live in a state of energy insecurity. This is often the case when a household has a very high energy burden and may be at risk of having utilities shut off due to non-payment. Source: https://www.seealliance.org/blog/what-is-energy-insecurity-versus-energy-burden/
Environmental Justice: The principle that all people have a right to be protected from environmental hazards and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment regardless of race, color, national origin, income, or English language proficiency. Source: https://www.mass.gov/doc/environmental-justice-policy6242021-update/download
Equity: Equity is the principle of fairness in burden sharing. With respect to climate change, it is how the impacts and responses to the issue, including costs and benefits, are distributed in and by society in more or less equal ways. One example of including equity in climate work is being aware of who participates in the conversations and controls the processes of decision-making related to the topic. Source: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/glossary/
Fossil Fuels: Carbon based fuels that are mined or drilled from the earth such as coal, oil, natural gas/methane gas, gasoline. When processed and burned, fossil fuels emit greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants. Source: MAPC.
Green Infrastructure (GI): Using nature -based solutions to help protect against flooding, extreme heat, and improve air and water quality. Some green infrastructure methods are the use of rain gardens, green roofs, and trees. Source: Climate Resilient Land Use Strategies Glossary
Greenhouse Gases (GHG): Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Source: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases
Greenhouse gas inventory: A greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory accounts for the emissions resulting from a geographic boundary in a given year. GHG emissions can be accounted for through different methods, the most common of which is to look at emissions that result from activities occurring within the city or town boundary. GHG emissions are expressed in Metric Tons Equivalent of Carbon, even though there are many types of GHGs. Source: MAPC.
Nature-Based Solution: Describes projects that use ecosystems to provide services and benefits through the preservation, conservation, restoration, or creation of natural systems such as wetlands. These projects may provide additional co-benefits such as outdoor space and recreation, wildlife habitat, and carbon reduction or sequestration. Source: Climate Resilient Land Use Strategies Glossary
Net Zero: Net zero is when the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by the removal of the same amount of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere (such as through carbon sequestration). Source: https://netzeroclimate.org/what-is-net-zero/
Renewable Energy: energy produced from sources like the sun and wind that are naturally replenished and do not run out. Renewable energy can be used for electricity generation, space and water heating and cooling, and transportation. Source: https://www.energy.gov/eere/renewable-energy
Resilience: The ability to withstand, recover, and bounce back from climate change impacts such as flooding, extreme heat, or extreme storms. This includes the ability of a community to address the needs of its built, social, and natural environment in order to anticipate, be prepared for, and recover stronger from events related to climate change. Source: MAPC.
Sustainability: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment and what Earth can provide us with. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in harmony to support present and future generations. Source: https://www.epa.gov/sustainability/learn-about-sustainability