The Climate Council Wants Your Input!

Luba Lukova

As the deadline for the Vermont Climate Plan approaches, it is critical that Vermonters share their input on climate action priorities. The Vermont Climate Council is soliciting public comments via an online survey, and we encourage you to take it, even if you already submitted comments during one of the live events over the past weeks.

While the entirety of the survey provides useful feedback for the climate council, we want to draw your attention to question 16 where they ask in open-ended terms what your priorities for climate action are. The Climate Action Plan needs to cut carbon pollution across Vermont’s economy, in line with the Solutions Act’s requirements and what climate science demands. It needs to do so equitably, so everyone can be part of this transition, and it needs to support the real, significant, long-term funding necessary for all this to be accomplished. 

Three of the critical policies needed to move us towards these goals are: 

  1. We need to invest dramatically more in weatherization and truly clean heating options like cold climate heat pumps.  
  2. To cut carbon pollution, we need to build far more new renewable energy like wind and solar than we are today. Vermont policies must require far more new renewable energy than they do now – especially here in Vermont.
  3. A number of states like Massachusetts, New York, and California are requiring all new vehicles sold starting in 2035 to be zero-emissions. Vermont should join them in getting serious about phasing out fossil fuel technologies as better options become available. 

VPIRG members came out in force in past weeks to attend the Council’s in-person hearings at state parks across Vermont, and virtually over Zoom. If you were able to attend in person, thank you for making your voice heard! But if you were not able to attend, you still have an opportunity to weigh in for a climate action plan that dramatically reduces Vermont’s climate pollution and does so equitably! 

Even if you attended the in-person and virtual events, please take the survey! I’m sure you weren’t able to share all your thoughts during the short meetings, and there can never be too many voices calling for comprehensive, equitable climate action. 

The Global Warming Solutions Act that you pushed so hard to get across the finish line last year requires big cuts to climate pollution in Vermont by 2025 – and much bigger cuts by 2030 and beyond. The legislature has already gotten a start on that work, committing to big climate investments over the next three years, but there is so much more to do.  

The Vermont Climate Council must do its job and put together a plan that cuts climate pollution dramatically, advances equity to ensure all Vermonters can be part of this transition and builds resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.  

They need to hear that from you. 

The only way we can accomplish transformative climate action is if our leaders hear it from you. These events allow the voice of the public to help steer our future, so make your voice heard and fill out the survey!