Brookline, MA- May 27, 2021 – Today, Mothers Out Front voiced its full-throated support of Warrant Article-26: Fossil Fuel Free (FFF) Building via Special Permits which is set to be voted on at the Brookline Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 1. The proposal seeks to encourage fossil fuel free construction through the special permit process . If passed, special permits granted for major construction projects using fossil fuels would be time-limited, and expire in 2030 (or within five years, whichever is greater). In contrast, special permits utilizing fossil fuel free systems for major construction projects, with certain exemptions and a waiver process, would be granted in perpetuity.
“We need to act boldly and urgently to create a livable future for our children and for our planet,” said Lisa Cunningham, Architect, Brookline Town Meeting and Mothers Out Front Member and co-petitioner of the Brookline by-law. “We are at a tipping point. Continuing to install obsolete infrastructure puts us further away from any hope of reaching our critical climate goals and continues to impact our health, especially in marginalized communities.”. With this vote, we are sending a strong message to state legislators and regulatory agencies to stop enabling special interests and get to work passing legislation that stands a chance of preventing catastrophic climate failure.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has announced plans of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by the year 2030, with plans to decarbonize and electrify one million buildings. Brookline is committing to a scientifically backed goal of net zero by 2040. However, the State continues to allow new fossil fuel infrastructure to be built, infrastructure that is designed to last at least 30 years, past the point when Massachusetts, the country,and Brookline have committed to be net zero.
In November 2019, Brookline passed a by-law that would have denied building permits for all new construction and major renovation projects that were not fossil fuel free. In July 2020, the Attorney General’s Municipal Law Unit disallowed it, citing conflicts with state law. This new proposal incorporated the AG’s recommendations to make the by-law legally viable.
Mothers Out Front brings mothers together to share their stories, discover shared values, train as organizers, take action, and lead campaigns at the local and statewide levels. It is a national movement of mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers dedicated to convincing elected officials and business leaders to work for a swift, complete, and just transition away from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy.