#ActOnClimateVT – “It’s what Vermonters want”
Call the Governor at (802) 828-3333 or email him at https://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message and tell him that we need bold climate action here in Vermont.
Polling released in December 2019 showed strong support for a wide range of actions to cut Vermont’s climate pollution – and a dramatically increased level of concern among Vermonters about global warming.
The climate crisis is here now, and it is affecting Vermonters’ quality of life and pocketbooks. Here, find brief summaries of our 2020 policy for this legislative session – but that will need your help and support to pass.
A Vermont “Global Warming Solutions Act”
State leaders from every political party have said they support Vermont meeting the 2025 climate pollution reduction targets established in the Paris Climate Accord, and hitting Vermont’s 2050 climate pollution targets.
Vermont must move beyond rhetorical support for action on climate and make our long-standing climate action goals requirements – as many other Northeastern states have done. A Vermont “Global Warming Solutions Act” would:
- Make Vermont’s existing climate goals binding targets instead, with action both authorized and required by one or more state agencies to hit said targets
- Set Vermont on a path towards a 28% reduction in climate pollution by 2025 (the goals the US committed to as part of the Paris Climate Accord) and towards a target of net zero climate pollution by 2050, and a reduction in climate pollution emitted of at least 75% from 1990 levels by 2050.
- Send a strong market signal that will help catalyze entrepreneurial innovation and job creation.
Institute a 100% Renewable Electricity Standard
Building off of Vermont’s current Renewable Energy Standard, which sets a 75% by 2032 renewable electricity requirement, the state should move faster and in concert with other states implementing necessarily ambitious targets, and establish a 100% renewable requirement by 2030. There is a conversation underway to pursue this more ambitious policy, and move the deadline up. Specifically, there is exploration of:
- 100% renewable electricity required for all utilities by 2030
- Doubling of the in-state renewables requirement from 10%, currently, to 20% by 2030 with a consistent, ongoing increase in required new renewables beyond 2030 and a continued focus on community and grid resilience.
- Expand “Tier 3,” the current law’s “energy transformation” tier. This tier in the RES requires utilities to help their customers reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas pollution in the heating and transportation sectors. It is important to maintain – and explore expanding – this requirement, as a powerful money-saving, carbon pollution tool.
Energy Efficiency Utility Modernization
Vermont has several programs, including Efficiency Vermont, that help Vermont families and businesses cut their electricity use and keep rates down for all ratepayers. Recently, there’s been discussion about having these efficiency programs expand their work to focus more on helping Vermonters cut climate pollution by investing in things like weatherization and efficient electric heating and transportation options. This is a huge opportunity – if we get it right and seize it. Vermont should:
- Continue to invest in cost-effective electric efficiency – saving all Vermonters money – while expanding the programs our Energy Efficiency Utilities can offer to allow them to help Vermonters reduce energy use and climate pollution for heating and transportation.
- Make cutting climate pollution a new top priority for Energy Efficiency Utilities, and pair it with traditional metrics such as reduced energy and peak electric usage as secondary goals.
Participate in a Strong, Equitable “Transportation & Climate Initiative”
In order to reduce pollution from transportation, about a dozen northeast states are designing a regional program to cap climate pollution from the transportation sector, and charge fossil fuel companies a fee to pollute. The revenues would be returned to each state and Vermont would invest them in clean transportation options like public transit, incentives for electric vehicles, and increased funding for bike paths and sidewalks.
We need bold climate action here in VT. We don’t have time to wait. Call the Governor at (802) 828-3333 or email him at https://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message and tell him that we need bold climate action in 2020.