Climate Coalition Seeking Town Meeting Support

HYANNIS – Cape Cod Climate Emergency Initiative, a coalition of environmental activists and local nonprofits, has filed a citizen petition to place a Declaration of Climate Emergency on the meeting warrant of every Cape Cod town this spring.

The goal of the coalition is to get policies introduced that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in every town on Cape to net-zero as soon as possible.

“It’s the policy that the states adopted and that the United Nations has devised is essential for the world to survive the change in climate,” said Barry Margolin, spokesperson for the Cape Cod Climate Emergency Initiative.

“We view this as an opportunity for citizens of the Cape to come to grips with the crisis and demonstrate that the public is now ready for action on climate change since much of what happens to be done has to be done at the local level.”

The coalition includes 350 Cape Cod, Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, the Center for Coastal Studies, Association to Preserve Cape Cod, Sierra Club Cape Cod, Citizens’ Climate Lobby South Shore/Cape Cod, Extinction Rebellion Cape Cod, and the Faith Communities Environmental Network.

“We’re really excited that this has brought together basically everybody working on climate issues on Cape, many of whom have never collaborated before. From the progressive grassroots folks who’ve been clamoring about climate for years to the institutional leaders like the Climate Change Collaborative who brings together folks from government, business, and science to work on policy,” said Margolin.

“We all share the view of what has to be done and we’d be stronger working together to bring that down to the community level.”

The emergency resolutions to add the Declaration of Climate Emergency to the warrants began in late December, the first being filed in Yarmouth.

The only towns left on Cape where the initiative has not yet reached are Barnstable and Bourne, though there are plans to hold similar initiatives in those towns sometime this month.

Margolin said that it was important for the Cape and Islands to lead by example in dealing with the climate crisis, given the community’s’ relationship to the coast.

“A peninsula sticking out into the middle of the ocean is the most vulnerable for a crisis that involves increasing violent storms, rising sea levels, and catastrophic weather patterns so if we, as a coastal community, don’t begin moving then it’s hard for us to ask the rest of the country to mobilize around the climate crisis.”

Margolin said that some towns have already made some progress in combating the climate crisis, including adding solar power, adding electric vehicle chargers, and increasing building efficiency and codes, all of which are important steps towards slowing carbon emissions.

“This article in each town meeting encourages all of our town governments to move faster,” said Margolin.  

Those interested in more information on how to join the Cape Cod Climate Emergency Initiative can contact Margolin at capecodclimate350@gmail.com or Fran Schofield at Fran@capecodclimate.org.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.



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