WESTFORD — A concerned group of Westford residents is looking to raise awareness on the town’s climate footprint.
Carole Morse, founder of Westford Climate Action, became increasingly concerned with the town’s climate footprint. It advocates for locally-implemented mitigation measures, according to the organization’ website.
“I did some research into other towns, I called up a few friends who were interested in community action and asked them what they thought about starting a climate action group,” Morse told WestfordCAT.
She continued, “I have three grandchildren and thinking about their future was my greatest motivator.”
Increasing renewable offerings in Westford
Westford Climate Action’s first major achievement was increasing renewable energy in Westford’s energy aggregation contract.
“The first thing we did was convince the town that their energy contract could go greener,” she said. “We researched what other towns were doing.”
Renewables in the default contract increased by 10%, according to Morse. Customers can now choose between 10%, 50%, and 100% renewable options.
Promoting net-zero emissions by 2050
The group has promoted the net-zero carbon emissions framework for energy and sustainability, which passed by a majority vote in a Special Town Meeting in Oct. 2020.
“We believed that the town needed a municipal committee devoted to clean energy and sustainability to create a net zero 2050 Climate Roadmap,” she said.
The group, Morse says, intends to work in tandem with the town government in promoting climate action.
“We see it as a collaborative effort with the town,” she said. “Over time, we’ve increased the interest in town boards.”
Increasing youth outreach in Westford
One of Morse’s recent goals is increasing youth outreach, which she believes will be beneficial to the organization. Morse praised Andrew Cao, a high school junior who recently proposed adding a youth subcommittee to the Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee.
“The schools and youth are a huge focus for us. We have connected with the high school environmental club,” she said.
She continued, “I am so impressed with the kids I’ve met at the high school and who’ve come to our meetings. They are so well-informed and genuinely concerned.”
The group is hosting a variety of educational and family-friendly events in April, including nature walks, panels and their Earth Day Celebration. A full list of events can be found here and on their website.
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