Thank you for committing to contact your Vermont state legislators before the end of the year to tell them you expect to see bold climate action in the 2020 session!

If our elected officials are going to enact the transformative policies the climate crisis requires, they have to hear from constituents like you that inaction is no longer acceptable.

Not sure who your legislators are or how to contact them? Use the Vermont State Legislature look-up page for all the info you need.

Read on for more information about the climate policies VPIRG along with our members, supporters and allies will be advocating for in the 2020 session.

2020 Vision for Climate Action

Climate change is here now, and it is affecting the quality of life and pocketbooks of Vermonters. More severe storms, deadly heat waves and growing tick populations are just some of the impacts. Since 2006, Vermont has had statutory goals to cut carbon pollution and do our part to combat this global crisis. Unfortunately, we have missed those goals by miles and our greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise dramatically.

There is a dire need for Vermont – and the world – to reduce the pollution that is warming our planet and threatening a stable, habitable world for young people and future generations. Strong policies must be put in place now to right this course. Thankfully, several important ideas are being discussed ahead of Vermont’s 2020 legislative session. To move from ideas to implementation, however, strong public engagement and political support is required.

All Vermonters who care about reducing pollution, moving to a more independent, equitable energy system, and putting people to work in the clean energy economy must get involved.

These are at the top of VPIRG’s climate and clean energy agenda in 2020.

The Global Warming Solutions Act

Vermont must move beyond rhetorical support for action on climate and make our long-standing climate action goals requirements – as many other Northeast states have done. A “Global Warming Solutions Act” would:

  • Establish binding targets with required & authorized action by one or more state agencies to hit said targets;
  • Authorize citizen suits to force action if the state failed to meet climate milestones; and
  • Set Vermont on a path towards a 28% reduction in climate pollution by 2025 (the goal the U.S. committed to as part of the Paris Climate Accord) and towards a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest and at least a 75% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.

A 100% Renewable Electricity Standard that Expands Efficiency as Well

Building off of Vermont’s current Renewable Energy Standard, which sets a 75% by 2032 renewable electricity requirement, the state should move faster and in concert with other states implementing necessarily ambitious targets and establish a 100% renewable requirement by 2030. There is a conversation underway to pursue this more ambitious policy and move the deadline up. Specifically, we support:

  • 100% renewable electricity required for all utilities by 2030;
  • Significantly increasing the requirement for newly built renewables (especially those built here in Vermont) – far beyond the 10% by 2032 currently required, with a focus on community and grid resilience; and
  • Expanding the work of Efficiency Vermont and our electric utilities work under the current RES’ “energy transformation” tier, to provide far more help to Vermonters in cutting their fossil fuel use for heating and transportation.

For even more details on our plans for climate action in 2020 – check out our full 2020 Climate Agenda.