Vermont Conservation Voters

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Core Issues

Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) advocates for legislation that will ensure Vermont offers a bright future for our children and grandchildren. Our vision for a bright future for Vermont includes working to advance and defend policies that protect the environment and promote health, while advancing civil rights, social, economic, and racial justice, and strengthening our democracy.

Each year, VCV publishes the Vermont Environmental Common Agenda of legislative priorities. This Agenda represents the priorities of a range of organizations across Vermont working on matters affecting our shared natural resources, the character of our communities, and the health of Vermonters.

The policy priorities identified in this year’s Environmental Common Agenda aim to help address some of the most critical challenges facing Vermont. By advancing these policies, lawmakers can put us on a path to a more resilient, just, and prosperous future. We must address the climate crisis by implementing the state’s Climate Action Plan as swiftly and equitably as possible. Policies identified in the plan will help Vermonters and local businesses have cleaner and more affordable alternatives to heat and power their buildings and get where they need to go. Further, the Plan identifies action steps to shape land use and development that store carbon, enhance our climate resilience – and, critically, to help address the housing shortage using smart growth solutions. This year, we are also calling on lawmakers to continue our nation-leading efforts to reduce our families’ exposure to toxic chemicals, and continue to take steps to ensure a healthy and accessible democracy for all.

Specifically, we are calling on lawmakers to:

  • Implement the Climate Action Plan to cut pollution, save Vermonters money, protect public health, and create good-paying union jobs by:
    • Adopting an equitable and accountable Affordable Heating Act;
    • Updating the Renewable Energy Standard to achieve 100% renewable energy and ensure development of significantly more new renewables; and
    • Investing in clean transportation and mobility solutions, environmental justice, and other critical climate initiatives.
  • Build a more climate-resilient Vermont by implementing smart growth housing solutions, while better protecting our valuable forests, waters, and wetlands.
  • Promote a healthier Vermont by:
    • Banning toxic chemicals like PFAS from personal care products and textiles; 
    • Reducing plastic waste by modernizing the Bottle Bill; and 
    • Promoting a healthy democracy.

To learn more either watch the video below, read the Common Agenda, or scroll through our issue pages

Scroll down and click on the topics below to learn more about our 2023 priorities and how things are going this legislative session.

2023 Environmental Common Agenda

To learn more about the 2021-22 legislative biennium please read our Legislative Bulletin from May of 2022.

Toxic Chemical Reform

PFAS and other toxic chemicals harm our bodies’ immune systems, cause diseases like cancer, and contaminate our environment. In the past few years, lawmakers have unanimously enacted nation-leading legislation that banned PFAS and other chemicals from a range of consumer products. Vermont must continue to build on this work by banning PFAS and other dangerous […]

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Climate Action

In 2020, the Vermont Legislature created the Climate Council and required them to develop a Climate Action Plan. The initial plan was released in December 2021, and lays out a suite of investment and policy initiatives necessary to drive down climate pollution and meet our Global Warming Solutions Act targets; strengthen our communities’ resilience; and […]

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Clean Water

Clean water is essential to Vermonters’ health, well-being, and quality of life. By adopting policies to better protect and restore our river corridors, riparian buffers along streams, and enhance our wetlands, we will improve water quality, increase species biodiversity, support our tourism and outdoor recreation economies, address stormwater, filter groundwater, and restore the cold-water habitat […]

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Healthy Forests & Wildlife

Vermont’s forested landscape is central to our state’s identity and economy. From traditional jobs in the woods, to recreational opportunities for hunters, hikers and anglers, to helping filter and clean our waters, mitigating the effects of climate change, and providing a home for iconic wildlife – healthy forests are an essential asset for Vermont.

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Sustainable Communities

Vermont’s working landscape and the economic vitality of our downtowns and villages set Vermont apart from other states. A variety of regulatory programs and financial incentives – including support for local and regional planning efforts – help us maintain our distinctive character, healthy environment, and vibrant communities. These programs must be protected, and in some instances, strengthened.

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Zero Waste

Building on important work done in recent years to ban specific single-use products, we must continue to develop and implement strategies to reduce the amount of waste we generate, and improve how we manage waste. As underscored by the legislatively-created Single Use Products Working Group, our current use and disposal patterns are inefficient, expensive, and […]

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The health of our environment is inextricably linked to the health of our democracy. Right now, we are seeing unprecedented attacks on our democracy — from the storming of the US Capitol, to a flurry of state legislation that aims to make it harder for certain people to vote. Further, Supreme Court decisions have opened […]

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