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
The Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Tuesday issued an order halting all involuntary disconnections due to nonpayment of electricity, natural gas, and landline phone utilities until March 31st, 2021. We are overjoyed and thank the PUC for making the right decision to prevent Vermonters from going without heat or electricity because they can’t pay ...Read More
The official rollout of the Transportation and Climate Initiative began last week, and already three states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) have signed on. This cap and invest strategy would give participating states the ability to significantly lower carbon emissions from the transportation sector, and create a new revenue stream for Vermont and other states ...Read More
Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act, passed in September, 2020, effectively requires that Vermont hit its climate pollution reduction targets. To do so, it established the Vermont Climate Council, which will work to create comprehensive and equitable solutions to both reduce our carbon footprint and ensure our communities are prepared for existing and potential consequences of ...Read More
No Vermonter, particularly in the midst of an ongoing spike in COVID-19, should have to worry that their heat, electricity or water could be disconnected this winter because they are unable to make bill payments due to the pandemic. That’s why we have joined Vermont Legal Aid and half a dozen other Vermont groups in calling ...Read More
Late last month, the Vermont Senate cleared the final hurdle to ensuring the Global Warming Solutions Act becomes law with the upper chamber’s 22-8 override of Gov. Phil Scott’s veto. I am thrilled to see the act pass, with both chambers of the General Assembly upholding overwhelming majorities in favor (the House vote was 103-47). I’m ...Read More
Transportation accounts for nearly half of Vermont’s climate pollution. That’s because a lot of Vermonters travel long distances for work, and are often in older, low-MPG vehicles. One of the best strategies to reduce our carbon pollution from the transportation sector is to get Vermonters out of those vehicles, and into newer models that use ...Read More
H. 688, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which was vetoed just last week by Governor Phil Scott, will officially become law after the Governor’s veto was overridden in both the House and the Senate. These votes reaffirmed the legislature’s, and the Vermont peoples’, commitment to climate action, despite efforts to derail action on the part ...Read More
Just two days after Governor Scott vetoed the Global Warming Solutions Act, the House of Representatives has voted to override that veto, surpassing the 100 votes needed to do so in a 103-47 vote. As the House was preparing for its ultimately successful override vote on Thursday, however, the chair and vice chair of House ...Read More