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How Yarmouth Contributes to Climate Change

When residents, visitors, and workers engage in daily activities such as driving to work or school and heating our homes and business, we typically rely on burning fossil fuels that add to the already high levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The faster we reduce our emissions, the better chance we have at slowing the pace of climate change.

For the Climate Action Plan, the Town conducted an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions produced by activities in the community, and by municipal and school operations, for the year 2019. This inventory data estimates emissions in Yarmouth and helps identify our biggest opportunities to reduce emissions.

Community GHG Pie Chart.PNG

Of our emissions come from the use of electricity and heating fuels for residential and commercial buildings.

Of our emissions come from transportation.



Image by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦
Burning gasoline to power our vehicles is the biggest single source of emissions in Yarmouth.
Emissions by fuel source graph.PNG

Breaking it Down

Gasoline in vehicles is the largest contributor to our emissions, while building emissions are a result of electricity use and the burning of heating fuel.

Municipal Emissions

Emissions from Town and School operations contribute 2% of the community-wide total.

These emissions are largely from fossil fuels, such as natural gas, used to heat municipal and school buildings and diesel used for fleet vehicles. Only a small portion of emissions comes from other operations, such as waste water treatment and traffic signals. 

Municipal GHG Emissions Pie Chart.PNG

Since we have a model of where emissions in Yarmouth come from, we can take steps to reduce emissions and work towards our net zero goal.

The course ahead

To work towards net zero emissions, we will need to take strategic steps in our top-polluting sectors: buildings, transportation, and waste. 

Our Pathway

Attaining this level of emissions reduction—nearly to zero by 2050—will require a range of essential solutions, including improving energy efficiency, transitioning transportation and heating to run on clean energy, and reducing single-occupancy vehicle travel. An overarching strategy that will be required is to transition our sources of electricity to 100% renewable energy—which will be supported by State efforts to green the grid. 

The Bigger Picture

Local governments are uniquely positioned to empower residents and businesses to reduce emissions while adapting policies and services to work towards a net zero future. We know that our town can play our part, but we also rely on broader change. Both the federal government and the state of Maine are actively guiding and incentivizing municipalities with funding, technical resources, and policy.


Governments will need to continue supporting essential solutions at scale, big companies will have to make changes to how they do business and what they offer consumers, and families and local businesses here in Yarmouth (and around the world) will need to take action. With collective action and smart investments, we can move the needle to meet local, state, and national goals.

Stay Informed & Get in Touch

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You can also send us your questions, comments, and ideas by emailing

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