Climate Action

Municipal Vulnerability Assessment

Credit: Erb Photography

Worcester was one of 82 communities to receive an award on May 29, 2018 to complete a climate change vulnerability assessments and develop resiliency plans through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program.

The city is using a $100,000 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant to complete a city-wide climate change vulnerability assessment, design an action plan for preparedness activities, and conduct a number of targeted vulnerability assessments of critical sectors with assistance of a qualified consultant.

Municipalities who complete this process and develop a final report will be designated as an MVP Community, which may lead to increased standing in future funding opportunities, including access to up to $2 million (as of April 2019) from a MVP Action Grant (with a 25% local match of total project costs).

The City selected Kleinfelder's RFP proposal for Worcester Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Planning Consulting Services and started the work in November, 2018. The project is e managed by Energy and Asset Management staff, with input from other city staff and community members. 

On Friday, January 25, 2019, the city held an intensive one-day workshop with community stakeholders. The workshop raised awareness, facilitated dialogue and experience-sharing, and generated ideas and momentum for building a more resilient Worcester. The MVP workshop presentation can be found here. A formal listening session of the MVP Report will take place late May/early June 2019 to present and discuss the workshop findings. Information with the presentation date and the Draft Report will be posted soon - stay tuned!

Worcester MVP Workshop - January 25, 2019

Other Resources:

Global Climate Change

Global Climate Change is upon us and its effects are already apparent throughout the world. Our reliance on the finite natural resource - fossil fuels - has left a legacy of a fundamentally altered planet. The scope and magnitude of the potential changes to our environment present a clear danger to our way of life and continued economic development worldwide. Within a generation we may face changes that will cause great dislocation, strife and energy shortages as the world's economic development demands more energy.

It is within this context that we must decide how we, the City of Worcester, will contribute to addressing this challenge.

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is within our reach. We can reduce the pollution that causes global climate change by using currently available technologies that also enhance economic development. In our schools, homes, and places of work, we can implement energy efficiency measures, use more renewable energy, and increase waste reuse and recycling.

These measures are not in conflict with economic development; instead, they are the basis on which our future economic development and quality of life will rely. Our actions can be an example to others, inspiring responsible energy and resource consumption.

As cities around the world make similar commitments, we can collaborate with each other to slow global climate change, improve energy security and improve our economic competitiveness.

Please join us as we work toward a  more sustainable Worcester!

Climate Action Plan Implementation

Energy efficiency, sustainability, and greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts yield numerous benefits to the City such as:

Saving Money: Using fuels and electricity more efficiently can lower operating costs and utility bills. The potential for financial savings is enormous for all sectors of the community, particularly those with limited incomes.

Improved Public Health and Livability: The burning of fossil fuels emits harmful air pollutants that can exacerbate health problems. Reducing their usage through improved efficiency and increase in the use of alternative energy will also reduce health issues associated with inhaling air pollutants. Encouraging walking and bicycling will cut transportation energy consumption, and improve public health and fitness. Planting trees cools ground summer temperatures and produces social benefits as well.

Economic Vitality: Increasing the use of renewable energy facilitates innovation, creates jobs, and over time makes emerging technologies more cost effective. With increased energy efficiency yielding financial benefits to builders and investors, the number of companies specializing in these fields in Worcester and throughout Massachusetts is increasing.

Improved Energy Security: Petroleum and petroleum-based products are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing petroleum use makes us less vulnerable to supply disruptions. This issue will be of utmost importance over the next few years as energy use in Asia and throughout the world increases.Credit: Erb Photography