Brooks Winner '10 Instrumental in Climate Action Plan
Story posted August 19, 2008
Brooks Winner '10, a Spanish and environmental studies double major, has a plan. And it has a title: City of Bath Energy Inventory and Climate Action Plan.
Winner, with help from Erika Helgerson, Bath's community relations coordinator, researched and prepared the report for the city as part of his charge as a Psi Upsilon Fellow with Bath Cool Communities, a local branch of a nationwide grassroots organization dedicated to reducing carbon emissions one community at a time.
A grant from the Sierra Club helped bring Winner on board.
"I collected energy use data for the community and the municipal government, used that information to calculate the city's total carbon output and then presented the results to the Bath City Council along with a resolution that commits the city to reducing its emissions and energy use significantly over the next ten years," said Winner.
"It was a great experience for me to do some independent research and it was exciting to see that local governments across the country are taking action against climate change."
Winner Energy Action Plan Makes Headlines
Winner's work on the City of Bath Energy Inventory and Climate Action Plan has been detailed in the local media. Three newspapers have run articles featuring his research and recommendations.
Many communities have endorsed resolutions to reduce energy and have signed the U.S. Mayors' Agreement for Climate Protection, aimed at reducing energy use to levels below those of 1990 by 2012.
When Bath couldn't commit to the Mayors' Agreement because of concerns it might not meet the standards within that time frame, Cool Communities, with help from Winner, devised a resolution they thought city councilors could support. They were right; the resolution won unanimous support.
Recommended steps include:
- Professional energy audits for public buildings and following recommendations
- Consideration of solar, wind and geothermal energy for municipal buildings
- Considerations of land-use policies that preserve open space to maintain a compact urban community
- Gradually replacing the city's fleet with hybrid vehicles
- Support of community education programs to inform the public about energy-related choices
In the report, Winner explained that he would like see Bath target a drop in its overall emissions by at least two percent annually, reaching a reduction goal of at least 20 percent by 2018.
"We believe this is an achievable goal and that action is necessary in light of recent increases in energy costs across the board," Winner said.
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