Somerville, Massachusetts is one of the most densely populated cities in the country,
hosting 77,000 residents within 4 square miles. Many in the city are
working hard to quickly reduce the community's dependence on fossil
fuels by growing local food, decreasing building energy use, increasing
public transportation and safe biking and walking routes that reduce air
pollution, creating new green space, and supporting the development of a
local living economy. All are contributing to
building a healthy, just, and sustainable community that is good for our
climate. Somerville Climate Action works to connect and catalyze
these efforts while building political will for science-based policies
that will move us away from depending on fossil fuels.
Somerville Climate Action is a grass-roots collaborative working for a safe and stable climate while helping to build a resilient, just, and sustainable community. We are focused on transitioning FROM fossil fuel dependence, ecological
degradation, economic instability and social disconnection TO low carbon lifestyles, ecosystem restoration, a local living economy and
a vital close-knit community.
How do we do this?
We organize hands-on educational and community-building events that bring people and organizations together to increase Somerville's economic and environmental sustainability and decrease our reliance on fossil-fuels.
We support initiatives that make our community more resilient in the face of climate change and natural resource limitations. We advocate for local, state, regional, national, and international policies that will enable the elimination of the burning of fossil fuels and build a community of justice and sustainability.
What We Do
We believe that the community is an appropriate scale for building the resilience and sustainable world we need to develop in the face of climate change, resource depletion, and social injustice. We also believe that working at this scale works to build political will for local to global policies that will facilitate the necessary transition from a current unsustainable and destructive path to a world where human beings can live and thrive in balance with the rest of the planet.
Below is a list of projects undertaken by Somerville Climate Action. The projects we undertake at a given time are the result of the availability of our volunteers and our assessment of where we will have the most impact at a given time.
Community-Wide and Regional Engagement:
- Somerville Climate Café, June 23, 2010 - The Somerville Climate Café brought 75 community leaders together to discuss how Somerville will be impacted by climate change
and talk about how to move forward as a community to address the climate crisis and needs for mitigation and adaptation. This resulted in building new connections and collaborations between community efforts that are moving to make Somerville a more sustainable community.
- Monthly Movie Series co-sponsored with State Representative Denise Provost
- Community Visioning and Discussion Events: Envisioning a Green Davis Square, Winter of 2008; Somerville Green Roofs Forum, Winter 2010
- Boston Under Water Festival, October 24th 2009 – part of 350.org’s Day of International of Climate Action
• Built a coalition of local advocacy groups, the Sustainable Business
Network of Greater Boston, Greenpeace, the Massachusetts Council of
Churches, and Students for a Just and Stable Future to organize and
sponsor the event that drew over 600 attendees (Photos, Boston Globe Article)
- New England Wind Fund Project -- 150 Somerville households donated 100 dollars each to the New England Wind Fund towards the development of regional wind energy in return for a 2 kilowatt solar pv system installed on the Winter Hill Community School
Work with the Municipality:
- Step It Up Rally, April 2007 -- a call on congress to pass climate legislation with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions 80% by 2050 as part of a national day of climate action organized by 350.org. Our event attracted about 300 people and was co-sponsored and attended by residents, local businesses, and local and state government representatives.
- Development of the first City of Somerville Sustainability Plan
- Initiation of the City of Somerville's Energy Services Contract
- Initiation of Mayor's Commission on Energy and Climate Change
- Production of three "Going Green" videos: conservation and energy-efficiency, installation of solar technology on residences, and weatherization.
Work with the Business Community:
- B2Green Business Expo, April 2009 -- The event drew approximately 300 participants to connect green service providers to Somerville business community and to spotlight businesses actively “going green” -- B2Green was a collaboration of Somerville Climate Action Network, the City of Somerville, and the Somerville Chamber of Commerce
- GoGreen Somerville, 2007 - 2009 -- collaboration between businesse owners, Somerville Climate Action, and Groundwork Somerville to green the business community.
This effort has been passed on to the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston's Sustainability Business Leader Program.