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 of Governor Scott.
Scroll down for the full press release.
This bill will put Vermont on a path toward meeting our commitment to the Paris Climate Accord by 2025 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by turning our current greenhouse gas reduction goals into requirements and setting binding deadlines for the state to cut climate pollution. The Solutions Act also spurs the creation of a Climate Action Council tasked with developing a detailed plan to reduce emissions and bolster our climate adaptation efforts–ensuring that the communities, infrastructure, and economy of the Green Mountain State are more resilient to the impacts of climate change, and that no community is left behind as we modernize our infrastructure. This plan will then be used to inform Agency of Natural Resources rulemaking on reducing climate pollution.
Vermont currently lacks the kind of strategic planning process and implementation framework this bill offers. Such a framework is critical for doing our part to combat the climate crisis – as well as strategically moving out of the COVID-19 crisis into recovery in a way that prioritizes Vermont’s most vulnerable, puts people to work in the local, clean energy economy and recognizes the unique assets that will make our state more resilient, independent and strong – including our farms and forests.
This is a huge win for climate action, putting Vermont in line with the states at the forefront of this movement, including New York and Massachusetts. The implementation process will begin in January of 2021, just 3 short months from now, and the Council will work on a plan throughout the year before officially sending it to the Agency of Natural Resources in December 2021.
That means that next year, VPIRG and our allies will be working hard to ensure that the plan that is developed is as robust as possible, putting us on a path to drastically reduce our climate pollution. The work is just beginning, and we will need an outpouring of support in order to push forward an ambitious climate agenda.
But for now, we celebrate!
Full Climate Coalition press release: