the 2024 Common Agenda
the 2023 legislative bulletin
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.
Over the past year, Vermonters experienced firsthand the growing threats to our communities posed by the climate crisis, including devastating flooding and polluted air due to wildfires. The urgency for climate action continues to build. The policy priorities outlined in this year’s Environmental Common Agenda are pivotal solutions needed to address these complex challenges.
This year’s agenda focuses on advancing clean energy for all, and building climate resilience by improving protections for our watersheds, including rivers, streams, and wetlands, and by addressing dam safety. We identify strategies to pay for climate mitigation and resilience by holding fossil fuel companies accountable, and by establishing funding structures to better leverage state and federal funds. We also promote smart growth housing solutions that help alleviate the housing shortage while better protecting our intact forest blocks and other critical resources. Finally, we identify steps the Legislature must take to reduce Vermonters’ exposure to toxic chemicals, implement the state’s Environmental Justice Law, finish the work of updating the Bottle Bill, and ensure a healthy democracy for all.
2024 Common Agenda Priorities
Act 250 has helped shape the Vermont we love today. But, the program is more than 50 years old and should be updated to better meet today’s challenges, including climate change, forest fragmentation, and increasing the availability of affordable, smart growth housing. The Legislature has […]
As Vermont confronts the escalating impacts of the climate crisis, we must expedite implementation of the strategies outlined in the state’s Climate Action Plan. In addition to climate resilience initiatives, we must also maintain our focus on cutting climate pollution and helping all Vermonters access clean energy solutions.
The climate crisis is already threatening the health and well-being of our communities, and we must work swiftly and strategically to strengthen our resilience. One critical area of work includes reducing the risk of future flooding. Fortunately, there are a number of steps Vermont can take this year. Policy solutions include better […]
While Vermont is a heavily forested state with 75% of its land-base covered by forests, this is not the whole story. A closer look reveals that our forests are being converted and fragmented by rural sprawl. An estimated 12,469 acres of forestland is being converted to development on an annual basis. At this rate, more than 300,000 acres […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Specifically, we are calling on lawmakers to:
- Cut climate pollution and enhance the resilience of our communities:
- Build climate resilience by better protecting our river corridors, streams and wetlands, and by addressing dam safety.
- Hold fossil fuel companies accountable for helping pay for the damage their products have caused in Vermont.
- Update the Renewable Energy Standard to achieve 100% renewable energy and ensure development of significantly more new renewables.
- Make significant investments in climate resilience, environmental justice, clean transportation, and other critical environmental initiatives.
- Modernize Act 250 with policies to allow more housing development in compact community centers, paired with better protections for forests and other natural resources.
- Promote a healthier Vermont:
- Ban toxic chemicals like PFAS from personal care products, textiles and artificial turf, and pass a pollinator protection bill to ban neonicotinoid-treated seeds.
- Enact Bottle Bill modernization by overriding the gubernatorial veto.
- Advance policies that promote a healthy democracy.
2024 Common Agenda Release Press Conference
Explore Prior Common Agendas
The Vermont environmental community’s vision for a bright future includes working to advance and defend policies that protect the environment; promote health, civil rights, social, racial and economic justice; bolster strong communities; and strengthen our democracy.
- Audubon Vermont
- Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC)
- Connecticut River Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited
- Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)
- Lake Champlain Committee (LCC)
- Preservation Trust of Vermont
- Renewable Energy Vermont (REV)
- Rights & Democracy (RAD)
- The Trust for Public Land (TPL)
- Third Act Vermont
- Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR)
- The Vermont Climate & Health Alliance
- Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club
- Vermont Interfaith Power & Light (VTIPL)
- Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC)
- Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG)