Fighting the climate crisis, repowering Vermont, and saving Vermonters money with local, green energy solutions.
VPIRG is one of Vermont’s leading advocacy groups when it comes to fighting the climate crisis. Our strength comes from the thousands of Vermonters who have chosen to stand up for our future over the years, from establishing Efficiency Vermont, the first-of-its-kind energy efficiency utility in 1999, to retiring Vermont Yankee in 2014 after decades of organizing, banning fracking in 2012, and passing the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2020. We’re dedicated to this ongoing work, because we know that the climate crisis is upon us and it’s going to take far more bold action to overcome it.
The threat posed by global warming is an injustice unlike any other our world has ever faced, because we know that if serious steps are not taken to address it, the poorest and most marginalized among us will face the brunt of its impact. In fact, they already are. That’s why our climate team at VPIRG is committed to considering equity in every policy decision we make – asking ourselves questions like “Who will benefit from this policy?”, “What are the long term impacts for our children and future generations?”, and “What populations are already suffering, and how can we address that need first?”
We need to completely modernize our energy sector in Vermont and move towards carbon neutral alternatives for transportation, home heating, and more – and we have to do it in a way that lifts up and includes all Vermonters.
The passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2020 marked a turning point in Vermont’s climate landscape. This bill sets the foundation for future action by creating the VT Climate Council, which consists of 23 members, who are tasked with putting forward a plan to reduce our carbon pollution and build the resilience of our communities to the effects of the climate crisis. [Read more below.]
But there is still change to be made in the legislature. We must move to modernize Vermont’s transportation system, making investments that will save Vermonters money while making reliable transportation options more accessible and cutting carbon pollution at the same time. To advance those goals, funding the investments outlined in the Transportation Modernization Act is among our top priorities in the 2021 legislative session. We also need to harness the resources and strength of our energy efficiency utilities, expanding their work on efficiency and electrification. And we must continue to expand our in-state renewable energy portfolio in order to reduce our carbon footprint, create jobs for Vermonters, and keep our energy dollars circulating in our own economy.
You can find out more about each of these priorities below, and be sure to stay tuned to our emails and social media platforms for ways to get involved.
Learn more about our Climate & Energy campaigns:
Recent Climate & Energy News
VPIRG members have been pushing for an equitable, substantial Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) for several years. We believe a well-designed program can boost our economy, reduce climate emission, and address inequities in our transportation systems. In December 2020, a bipartisan group of governors and mayors from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia announced that they ...Read More
Right now, the Vermont State Senate is considering how to invest the over $1 billion in federal stimulus funds the American Rescue Plan is delivering to Vermont. We need to make sure that they understand Vermonters see climate action investments as critical to our state’s ability to build back from the COVID-19 crisis in a ...Read More
Late yesterday, Gov. Phil Scott released his proposal for the over $1 billion in funds Vermont will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act. Included in his proposal is $200 million over the next four years in energy affordability and climate investments. This is an important down payment on the strategic investments necessary for Vermont to ...Read More
On Monday, the Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued an order that would extend the moratorium on involuntary utility disconnections due to nonpayment of electricity, natural gas, and landline phone through May 31st, 2021. Under the previous order, it would have expired this Wednesday. This is good news. We are grateful that the PUC has decided to ...Read More
Going into this legislative session, one of our key priorities was a set of policies designed to advance modernizing Vermont’s transportation infrastructure – to give Vermonters better access to affordable transportation, and to cut our climate pollution. Just past the halfway point in the session, we just hit a major milestone in advancing that goal. Just ...Read More
No Vermonter should have to worry that their utilities could be disconnected during this pandemic because they are unable to make bill payments. Last March, the Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued an order halting all involuntary utility disconnections in the wake of the emerging COVID crisis. That order is set to expire in just over a week, but many ...Read More
In a letter to the Vermont House Appropriations Committee, VPIRG and 18 organizational allies of diverse backgrounds identified their priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, which is currently being considered in the legislature. Our aim is to encourage our state to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable Vermonters – including BIPOC Vermonters and Vermonters ...Read More
This Town Meeting Day, Burlington voters have the opportunity to make a major impact on our city’s climate action future by voting YES on questions 3 and 7. Check out the campaign website here. These two crucial measures will empower the city to do more to transform how buildings in Burlington are heated while centering equity ...Read More