MMA, local officials focus efforts on climate change

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As municipalities continue their efforts on issues related to climate change, the MMA is working with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs on a webinar series for local officials to explain the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program.
 
The MMA will present a webinar on Jan. 8 about listening sessions and stakeholder engagement. The webinar, called “The Importance of Listening,” will provide tips for hosting community listening sessions, including whom to invite, setting group rules, encouraging participation, and effective moderation. The webinar will provide community leaders with tools to set them up for success with the MVP program.
 
The MVP program provides grants for cities and towns to participate in a process to identify local hazards and vulnerabilities and develop strategies to become more resilient.
 
The webinar series, hosted by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and The Nature Conservancy, is designed to answer common questions about the MVP program and discuss participation and best practices. The intended audience for the webinars is municipalities that are interested in the program as well as certified service providers.
 
The series of webinars began on Nov. 20 and will run through Feb. 26. In addition to the MMA, presenters include the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Resilient Taunton Watershed Network, Mass Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, and the Office of Coastal Zone Management.
 
For more about the webinar series, visit tinyurl.com/MVPWebinars.
 
Local officials who are interested in climate change will have many opportunities to learn and participate in discussions during the MMA Annual Meeting on Jan. 19 and 20.
 
On Friday, Jan. 19, the workshop “Weathering Climate Change Through Preparation” will feature state officials and other experts discussing resilience and adaptation strategies. Attendees will learn about climate initiatives at the state level and learn about tools to create resilient infrastructure and plan effectively for the impacts of climate change.
 
Also on Friday, municipal officials will have a chance to hear about energy efficiency and renewable energy at the “Combating Climate Change With Clean Energy” workshop. Attendees will learn strategies to cut emissions and increase energy efficiency, such as installing LED streetlights, using electric vehicles, and conserving energy in municipal buildings.
 
At the MMA Annual Business Meeting on Jan. 20, the MMA membership will vote on a resolution supporting a local-state-federal partnership to combat the effects of climate change. This is the first resolution that the MMA membership has taken up specifically related to climate change.
 
The resolution lays out a number of policy positions that are essential to ensuring an effective and sustainable partnership, including infrastructure resilience and adaptation strategies, mitigation through energy efficiency and renewable energy, and emergency management and response.