climate action alerts
A regional resource for Cape & Islands climate activists May 7, 2020 | v. 11
S T R E T C H I N G the Stretch Code
An early adopter of the Stretch Code,
Massachusetts moves toward a "Net Zero" stretch code
Back in 2009, Massachusetts was one of the first states in the nation to adopt a stretch code. Innovative and forward-looking, the code was unique in that it was based more on energy performance than prescriptive measures. This Massachusetts stretch code was last updated in in 2016 and 2017 to ensure it remained more stringent than national building energy standards established in 2015.

Today, many Massachusetts communities and sustainability advocates are interested in Net Zero buildings and community planning. Under current regulations, however, towns and cities in Massachusetts cannot adopt a Net Zero building code because they must follow the state-wide codes promulgated by the Board of Building Regulation and Standards (BBRS).

A coalition of towns and cities recently appealed to the BBRS, requesting that it develop a Net Zero Stretch Code and, witnessing the upswell of support, Chair Couture of the BBRS recently directed the Energy Advisory Committee that reports to the BBRS to develop a draft of the Net Zero Stretch Code.

In addition, more than 200 organizations in Massachusetts have joined forces, creating the Mass Power Forward coalition led by Massachusetts Climate Action Network, to focus sustainability efforts and political action in supporting legislation and executive action that addresses the three major sources of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Massachusetts: electricity generation, transportation, and buildings. The coalition believes the Net Zero Stretch Code is currently the greatest single opportunity to support reduced building emissions in Massachusetts.

While there is momentum behind the Net Zero Stretch Code, its implementation is far from guaranteed. A demonstration of industry, community and political support will play a crucial role in ensuring success. Learn more about the Net Zero Stretch Code here.

Cape Cod Climate Emergency Initiative
Chatham Climate Action Network (C-CAN) holds successful virtual forum!
By Tim Wood, Cape Cod Chronicle, May 6, 2020
Forum Details Local Actions To Combat Climate Change

CHATHAM – Although it may have receded into the background during the coronavirus crisis, climate change remains as much a threat to the future as the current emergency. But unlike the virus, there are things people can do to help counter climate change.

That was the premise of “Chatham Acts On Climate,” an online forum held Saturday by the Chatham Climate Action Network (C-CAN). About 70 participants heard nine local officials, representatives of environmental organizations and residents talk about actions that have been taken in Chatham to address climate change and get advice about what individuals can do to contribute toward a solution.

“Deep change is needed,” said Brian McGurk, rector at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church. “COVID-19 is teaching us that we must change our way of life. Radical change is needed collectively and individually.” Sea level rise has long been recognized here as a chief impact of climate change, said Brian Miner, a member of the C-CAN steering committee and the forum host. But “the whole idea of what climate change is about has certainly expanded a lot,” and that has been recognized by the town's leadership, which has taken diverse steps to reduce the town's carbon footprint as well as take environmental consequences of climate change into account, he said. Read more here.
MCAN's Energy Zero (EZ) Code Webinar

Watch this recent webinar for an update on MCAN's Net Zero stretch code campaign and learn more about the EZ Code. Gain insights into what YOU can do to take action and ensure that Massachusetts decision-makers are held accountable for effecting Net Zero buildings and a fossil fuel-free future.

Net Zero Stretch Code support letter goes to
MA legislature

Hundreds of members of the Massachusetts building, design, construction, and sustainability communities recently sent a letter to Massachusetts senate and house leadership advocating for adoption of a Net Zero Stretch Code.

Big Oil's Reign is Finally Weakening
By Bill McKibben, The New Yorker ,
May 7, 2020

On some long-distant day when some as-yet-unborn historian sits down to write the story of climate change—the story of the greatest crisis humans ever faced—it’s possible that they’ll choose an anecdote from this past week as a way into the story. Amid the  coronavirus pandemic , it understandably didn’t get much notice, but JPMorgan Chase announced on Friday that Lee Raymond will no longer serve as the lead independent director of the world’s largest lender to the fossil-fuel industry.
A Shell of its former self
By Emily Pontecorvo , Grist, April 20, 2020

It’s Monday, April 20, and Shell has a new net-zero emissions target. In the middle of a global pandemic, with oil prices in free fall, the oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell made a striking  announcement  last week: The company aims to be a “net-zero emissions energy business” by 2050 and will  link the pay  of 16,500 employees to carbon-reduction targets.

Shell is the second European oil major to set a net-zero target; BP made a  similar announcement  in February.
Yet another major bank ditches Arctic oil

The bad news for American oil just keeps coming. Earlier this week, the benchmark price for crude oil plummeted  below zero  thanks to a combination of oversupply and plummeting demand amid coronavirus lockdowns. And on Thursday, another major bank decided to stop financing Arctic oil.

The multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley unveiled an  updated energy policy  yesterday that says the company “will not directly finance new oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic..."  Read more here.
Events, education, etcetera
The Nature of Crisis and The Downfall of Giants: Past Peak Oil With Bill McKibben (Webinar)

Friday, May 8 | 3:00pm ET

Legendary environmentalist, author and activist Bill McKibben talks about the future of oil. In 2008, Bill founded , an organization focused on bringing together a movement to end fossil fuels, build community resilience, and address environmental justice issues at their roots. As the world draws more and more parallels between the COVID-19 and climate crisis, his message of equity and justice in the climate fight holds even more truth as we work towards solutions that effectively combat both crises simultaneously.
Vineyard Wind to hold Zoom meeting for Advocates & Organizers

Monday May 11
4:30pm – 5:15pm

Currently, in the final stages of permitting the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind project and the beginning stages of permitting a second large-scale project, Vineyard Wind will provide enough offshore wind renewable energy to power approximately 800,000 homes!

Looking ahead to state, federal, and local permitting processes that include virtual public meetings and virtual public hearings this summer, Vineyard Wind invites advocates and organizers to a brief Zoom* webinar to learn about the status of its projects, permitting processes, and upcoming opportunities for citizen advocates to ACT! Contact Rosalie DeCosta ( or Nate Mayo ( with any questions.
*Please try to join the Zoom webinar platform via computer rather than phone in order to use the Q&A feature. Space is limited.

Wednesday, May 20 | 3:00-5:00pm

Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) presents a leadership webinar featureing David Ismay, the recently appointed Undersecretary for Climate Change for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His first keynote presentation to the EBC will focus on the Baker administration’s climate programs, priorities, and implementation strategies for 2020 and beyond. Following the presentation by Undersecretary Ismay,   Ruth Silman, Chair of the EBC Climate Change Committee, will moderate an open discussion with the audience on climate issues of concern to the EBC membership and their clients.
APCC launches 3-part webinar series: Reducing your Climate Footprint
 3 short videos to help reduce your carbon footprint

  • Webinar #1 -  Calculate Your Carbon Footprint with an Online Calculator/Make Your Home More Energy Efficient. 19-minute video, presented by Mark Nelson.

  • Webinar #2 -  Reduce your carbon footprint by going solar and making sound transportation choices. 25- minute video.
  • Webinar #3 - How Your Food & Landscape Choices Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. Presented by Jacob Nelson and Mark Nelson.
Did you know?
DYK? This digest compiles enormous amounts of policy ideas and works to ensure they become law in 2020 and 2021. Read on.

DYK? Reducing your own carbon footprint is not as powerful as calling governments and companies to account. Read on.

DYK? Climate skeptics are less likely to wear masks during Corona virus. Read on.

DYK? Tech giants Microsoft and Amazon have unveiled new initiatives to help preserve the planet. Read on.

DYK? Global warming to push billions outside climate range that has sustained society for 6,000 years. Read on.

DYK? Emissions declines will set records this year, but it's not good news. Read on .

DYK? How to do a climate-friendly spring cleaning during the pandemic. Read on.
The Climate Action Alerts newsletter is curated and compiled by Fran Schofield. Got a great local climate story or suggestion? Let us know! And send this action alert to your friends and ask them to subscribe here .
The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to reach carbon neutrality or net zero on Cape Cod and the Islands of Massachusetts by enhancing communication, collaboration, and activism among organizations, programs, and individuals committed to mitigating the climate crisis.
 All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.