Letter to the Editor: Regarding Hiring a Sustainability Director

~ Submitted by Corrine Doud for the Environmental Justice Committee of First Parish in Bedford

We, the First Parish in Bedford Environmental Justice Committee, endorse the hiring of a Sustainability Director for Bedford to fund, promote, and integrate Net Zero climate goals.

Dozens of Massachusetts towns have already hired a Sustainability Director and are reaping great financial benefits from grants brought in and energy (and money) saving improvements put into place for the towns. Bedford’s Sustainability Director will be able to access millions of dollars that the state and federal governments will be releasing in the coming years to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Investing in a Sustainability Director is a wise financial investment for the future of Bedford.

As a church community, we are committed to caring for those around us. We know that climate impacts are often suffered the most by those who contribute least to the problem. In transitioning to the all-electric, fossil fuel-free future that the climate crisis demands, we need a holistic approach that takes all in our community into account. Energy-efficient and water-efficient homes are more affordable to operate and grants could help lower-income families get that benefit. Adding renewable technology to homes increases the resale value of real estate and should be more easily accessible to all. Public transportation options available within our Town will reduce car energy use and reduce traffic. Zoning changes and planning board policy changes that promote all-electric buildings will reduce emissions and give future generations a livable climate. A Sustainability Director is a crucial addition to Town staff that can help implement such transformative and necessary changes and will help Bedford become a more just and equitable place to live.

We ask the Select Board and the Town Manager to view our recommendation favorably.

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