Climate Change resolution passed at Town Meeting: a brighter future’s ahead


At the recent Wayland Town Meeting, Article 19, which declared the town of Wayland in a climate emergency passed. “It is a resolution to declare a climate emergency,” Michael Delman said. The planet is warming and the town can now take the next steps under this article to stop this problem.

Julia Raymond

Wayland is headed in the right direction. Recently at town meeting, Wayland passed a climate change resolution (Article 19) that declared the town of Wayland in a climate emergency. Wayland is not alone: just this past winter, the state of Massachusetts approved a commitment for the state to cut 50 percent of greenhouse gases by 2030.

Human activity is the main cause of climate change. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere is directly related to the average global temperature on earth. The global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period, according to WMO. This statistic has huge effects on the weather, causing extreme heat waves, droughts, flooding, winter storms, hurricanes and wildfires.

If countries had acted on this problem ten years ago, governments would have needed to reduce emissions by 3.3% each year. Comparing to the percentages now, we are facing the need of nearly 50% reductions. Every year the country does not act on this problem, the level of difficulty and cost to reduce emissions goes up, according to the UN Environment Program.

In order to solve this problem, countries must work to decarbonize, set targets for net-zero carbon and set timelines for how to reach that target. In Wayland, everyone must be on board and we must follow a set plan to achieve this goal.

Michael Delman, a citizen of Wayland, spoke to the town during the meeting. His article won by a vote of 204 to 24, 89.5 percent of the vote. Delman’s article was the third of the three environmental proposals. The other two articles included one to install solar panels at Claypit and a Community Choice Aggregation plan which is a plan to bring greener electrical power to the residents of Wayland.

“We know this is a big problem,” Delman said. “We have a warming planet, and it’s because of human behavior, and we know it’s resulting in huge problems.”

There are three goals with this proposal: cut greenhouse gases by 50-75 percent by 2030, total participation from the town and come up with a plan by the next town meeting, which is in nearly a year.

“Since it passed, the board of selectman now tells the energy and climate committee ‘go,’” Delamn said. “The committee builds this advisory group that’s made up of people from the town or energy committee and they construct a plan that is well researched. The next year the town votes on it.”

Delman was able to gain support and acquire help by connecting with the Wayland High School’s Green Team. Delman met with people and recruited speakers.

“I connected with the green team, and Ms. Snow and a lot of members got involved,” Delman said. “They made petitions and actually two of the members spoke at town meetings. They were very helpful in the process.”

In the upcoming years, Wayland will strive to meet this goal with the participation of everyone in town. In order to create a better future, everyone must act now.

“We need to commit to a certain amount of action,” Delman said.