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Maine communities 'cool' down the planet
Published 14 July 2008 by (original article)

A number of communities in Maine are committing to combating global warming through various programs and initiatives. Some are signatories of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement; others are taking other paths.

Published 14 July 2008 by,

[This is an EXCERPT - read the whole article here. -Ed.]

Further related material:
» Recommended Programs like U.S. Mayors for Climate Protection and Sierra Club's Cool Cities campaign can help guide communities' climate efforts

By Deborah McDermott

A number of towns, including most in southern York County, have undertaken measures intended to cool down the planet from global warming, "one Maine community at a time."

Monitoring this effort and lauding the work is Maine Partners for Cool Communities, a consortium of nonprofit organizations that just this month released its first Cool Communities report.

Right now, 18 communities in Maine — Kennebunk being the closest in York County — have signed on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, formed to advance the goals of the 2005 Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to address climate disruption.

In addition, 44 communities in Maine have passed some sort of cool energy initiative. Here in southern Maine, the report chronicles these efforts:

  • Eliot: The town passed both wind- and solar-energy initiatives in May, proposed by its active energy commission. This followed an energy audit conducted by the state's Efficiency Maine program in 2007. Also in 2007, the energy commission developed a kit of home energy information, and created a flyer, "10 ways to save $100."
  • Kittery: This spring, voters approved funding for a wind turbine at the town's transfer station. An active Kittery Energy Advisory Committee is currently looking at other initiatives, including an anti-idling ordinance, programs in schools and a serious review of the town's energy expenditures.
  • York: This spring, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that will require any future municipal buildings to be "green," in compliance with silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. York is only the second town in the state to adopt these standards. The initiative was started by two York High School students and backed by the town's energy committee.
  • The KEYS (Kittery, Eliot, York, South Berwick) region: MPCC members came to a forum held by energy committees throughout the area at the Kittery Trading Post last fall.

Photo credit: Tod Heft

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