Solutions for helping to limit the most severe repercussions of global warming and climate change involve preventing the release of further GHG emissions. Chiefly, that involes keeping fossil fuels in the ground, maintaining our rainforests and switching our power sources to renewable energy.
On the International Level
With action from the European Union,10/5/16, the Paris Climate Agreement marks the single most significant action by world leaders to address climate disruption to date. What happens next is important. Countries must now set and meet ambitious emission reductions. This will require a swift transition from dirty fuels to clean energy. And we need to insist that the US sign the agreement and vigorously implement it.
Another Requested Change to FERC's Process:
A joint effort of Public Health Professionals, Attorneys and citizens of NY, MA, and NH have asked their Congressional Delegations to work together to implement another change in FERC's approval process for HV/HF gas pipelines---incorporating a Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment to evaluate the potential health threats posed by each future pipeline proposal.
So far, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressman Gibbons from NY, plus Senators Shaheen and Ayotte along with Congresswoman Kuster and Governor Hassan from NH have all sent FERC that request.
These efforts to bring FERC under some checks and balances by the inclusion of state and local input, as well as the effort to urge it to include a comprehensive health impact assessment as a necessary part of its HV/HF pipeline application process were brought about through the efforts of grassroots volunteers, including Temple's Energy Committee, joining forces with elected officials in NH, MA, and NY. And, in 2021, they are beginning to prove their effectiveness. The new Director of FERC is applying their principles and guidelines in a transformed policy toward energy infrastructure.
Solutions on the State Level
In an effort to upgrade NH's siting Rules and Regulations for new energy infrastructure within the state, we have also been actively working with the our state's Site Evaluation
Committee. We recently obtained the approval and adoption of many of the New Rules and Regulations we requested for the SEC's evaluation process for any new high pressure gas pipeline applications!
This will bring NH up-to-date---changing the Rules and Regulations to reflect the challenges and hazards which accompany the infrastructure from the HV/HF (fractured gas) industry, which is so very different from the conventional gas industry. It is a HUGE STEP in the right direction.
Presently, we are working with the Air Division of the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) to upgrade the state's Toxic Air Statutes as well as to add numerous pollutants to the list of regulated toxins within the state. This will include the HV/HF pollutants which were never emitted from the conventional gas industry's infrastructure and had been the only type of infrastructure covered by our present statutes.
There is a pressing need to protect the public health of our citizens who would be exposed to the well-documented carcinogenic and toxic emissions which get released from the fracked gas infrastructures called compressor stations, if they are allowed to become constructed within the state.
Businesses thriving through GREEN manufacturing,
technologies, policies and practices
(Excerpts from an article in "The Hill")
"In 2011, the United States’ “clean economy” employed over 2.7 million workers, according to a study by the nonpartisan Brookings Institute – more than either the fossil fuel or bioscience industries.
During the Great Recession, the clean economy outperformed the nation as a whole. And the clean economy actually offers more opportunities and better pay for low-and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole, the Brookings study found.
Greening buildings specifically has been a significant business driver as well. In the green building sector alone, green construction added $167.4 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2011 to 2014, according to a 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, and it has catalyzed significant innovation in materials, products and services to deliver the energy, water and waste efficiencies truly green buildings require. This year, it will employ more than 2.3 million Americans, and by 2018, it is expected to nearly double in size.
Companies aren’t floundering because they’re going green. They’re actually flourishing.
Take IBM and its climate protection policies. Between 1990 and 2014, the technological giant conserved 6.8 million megawatt hours of electricity consumption, avoided 4.2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, and correspondingly saved $550 million. Consuming less energy meant that IBM spent less money on fuel and electricity—and put those funds to better use elsewhere.
Unilever,which launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in 2010 to integrate the practice of sustainability into a number of their brands and products, with a goal of halving the environmental footprint of the making and use of Unilever’s products by 2020. In 2015, Unilever’s sustainable brands grew 30 percent faster than its other products and contributed to half of the company’s total yearly growth.
In 2015, General Motors made over $1 billion through its recycling and reuse program, which recycled and composted more than two million metric tons of waste materials globally, converted about 144,000 metric tons of waste to energy, and avoided 8.9 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Going green is good for everyone: companies’ profit margins, employees’ health, the economy generally, and the future of our planet as a whole.
Saving our planet isn’t a trite sentiment; it’s an imperative that benefits businesses, employees, the economy, and the future."
On the Local Level...
A successful petition initiative called the Climate Change Resolution led to a Warrant Article that was passed at Temple's Town Meeting in 2007-- requesting that the Select Board establish a voluntary Energy Committee tasked with taking steps to reduce GHG emissions and save energy. The Energy Committee was formed and has been working actively to fulfill those goals within the town's municipal and residential sectors ever since.
1. Following an Inventory of Temple's energy usage and thorough energy audits for three of the town's municipal buildings, the acquired data assisted our award of a $320,000 RGGI Grant to fund a deep energy efficiency retrofit for those buildings in order to reduce GHG emissions and costs.
Temple's RGGI - Funded Municipal Energy Efficiency Retrofit Models a Key Component of Municipal Solutions.
The energy conservation retrofit for the town's Municipal Building, Fire Dept. and Library has been a stunning success! It has resulted in reducing our library's fuel usage by 1/3 and is averaging between 75-80% reductions in heating fuel usage and carbon emissions for the Municipal Building and Fire Department.
A PowerPoint with photos from the retrofit is linked on the "Activities" page
2. Another Municipal Solution is to Create and Adopt an Energy Chapter for the Master Plan
View the Energy Chapter for Temple's Master Plan
Written by the Temple Energy Committee and Adopted by Temple's Planning Board on
May 5, 2010
3. PowerPoint Looking at the Temple Energy Committee's Efforts and Actions to Promote Sustainability
4. 100% Renewable Energy Task Force
Using a successful petition initiative to authorize another Warrant Article for Temple's Town Meeting in 2018, our citizens voted to commit the town to switch all of its municipal energy usage to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 and establish a Task Force to implement that mission.
The Task Force is designing a potential ground mounted solar installation on a site with the potential for future expansion. This will be presented to the BOS and, after a public hearing, presented to our citizens for approval at a Town Meeting when financing becomes viable.
5. Community Power Plans
On a parallel track, having obtained the approval of the Select Board, the Task Force is also evaluating the newly legislated opportunity for NH towns to establish Community Power Plans designed to provide more local control and cost savings through bulk purchasing for the electricity needs of their entire communities--residents, businesses and the municipal sectors combined.
(More on the "Renewables Task Force" page)
Resources for Residents,
Towns and Businesses --
Tax Incentives, Rebates, Energy Assistance, Home Weatherization and Renewable Energy Financing
Southern NH Services – energy efficiency/weatherization programs for residents, fuel assistance, electric energy assistance - www.snhs.com
NH Community Development Authority - financing guidance and assistance for businesses & municipalities
NHCDFA or NHCDFA.org.
Federal solar credits -
View NH's Climate Action Plan:
Passing international agreements to limit GHG emissions; stop destruction of rain forests; clean up rivers, lakes, and oceans; and invest in conservation and renewable energy resources and industries.
Passing legislation to limit GHG emissions and invest in conservation and clean, renewable US energy resources.
Joining RGGI & using money from caps on GHG emissions to invest in energy efficiency projects which, in turn, will help lower our tax burden and create jobs. Implementation of state Climate Action Plans.
Joining multi-town energy reduction competitions, such as the competition to see which town can get the highest percentage of residents to take at least one new step to reduce household energy usage.
And joining multi-town efforts to use the incentive of bulk purchasing to reduce the costs of solar instalations for thier homes.
Presenting and passing warrant articles authorizing the establishment of local energy committees to save energy/reduce GHG emissions locally, which helps to lower the tax burdens and to commit towns to switch their energy usage to100% renewable energy by 2030 or sooner.
Supporting Local Energy Committee recommendations.
Adopting Energy Chapters in Town Master Plans.
Supporting cooperation and collaboration between energy committees and town boards and departments.
Conducting energy surveys of municipal buildings' usage, followed by obtaining professional energy audits of the buildings to determine where they are leaking the most energy. Then, applying for grants to conduct energy efficiency retrofits to save energy and tax payer expenses.
Taking steps to evaluate and establish Community Power Plans to provide more local control and reduce costs for electricity through bulk purchasing for the entire community, including businesses, residences, and municipal sectrors with an opt-out provision for those not interested.
Learning how to power-down and save energy at home, at work and on the road, and then taking steps to follow through--lowering our energy consumption and costs. Switching from using fossil fuels to powering our homes with renewable energy resources.