Our Work

Let your voice be heard on climate action

If you haven’t already shared your perspectives on climate action with the Governor’s Climate Action Commission, please do so by December 14! That’s when Commissioners will be voting on the short-term, initial actions they believe the Governor should move on immediately to turn the tide on our rising greenhouse gas emissions. Ensure your recommendations for action are in the mix – and ask Commissioners to be as bold as possible.
Background: The Vermont Climate Action Commission was created by Governor Scott in July, and it was charged to develop at least three recommendations byJanuary 1, 2018, for solutions that the Governor could take action on, and to outline a plan by July 2018 to meet Vermont’s clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals from the Comprehensive Energy Plan. The Commission includes VNRC’s own Johanna Miller (see the full list here).
Ensure your ideas on both short- and long-term strategies the Commission, the Governor, and the state should pursue are in the mix. Send an email with your specific ideas to anr.vcac@vermont.gov by Dec. 14
What are climate policies and solutions Vermont should pursue? 
Vermonters spend almost $2 billion dollars a year to heat our homes and get people and products where they need to go. In fact, $8 out of every $10 we use to buy heating fuels or gasoline goes out of our state, out of Vermonters’ pockets and into the hands of fossil fuel giants like Exxon and Shell. We can keep far more of those dollars in Vermont and put people to work by helping all Vermonters make their homes and businesses more efficient, powered by renewable energy, and heated and cooled with cold climate heat pumps, and far more. 
A just transition off of fossil fuels – one where everyone benefits – can create a thriving, 21st century economy and ensure Vermont does all it can to stem the consequences of a warming world. We must advance and implement solutions that match the magnitude of the challenge we face. 
Ask you legislators, the Governor, and the Vermont Climate Action Commission to: 
  • Put a price on carbon pollution; the most effective, powerful singular policy way to reduce fossil fuel consumption. A well-crafted price on carbon – one that protects and supports low and middle income earners in particular by dramatically reducing other costs – could reap significant environmental and economic benefit for Vermont. In December, the Commission should recommend the Legislature and Governor get behind and fund an independent, economic analysis of this powerful policy. Beyond that, the state should implement a carbon pricing program that works well for Vermont, helping Vermonters stop hemorrhaging money to pay for imported fossil fuels. Learn more about the new carbon pollution pricing plan, the ESSEX Plan.
  • Make small investments with the $18.7 million Environmental Mitigation Trust funds that the state will receive as part of the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement. The state should invest in the most impactful greenhouse gas and public health-benefitting strategies possible – not “clean” diesel. Investments could include solutions such as electrifying bus fleets and more. 
  • Maintain and strengthen – as opposed to rolling back – the progress we’ve made in recent years on policies that support a smart, strategic, and inclusive transition to clean energy. Recent policies to support include: The 2015 Renewable Portfolio Standard and its cost and climate pollution-cutting “Tier 3” energy transformation requirement as well as the Comprehensive Energy Planning underway via Act 174, where municipalities and regions are helping outline how they want to see Vermont’s 90% renewable energy by 2050 goal implemented in their communities. 
  • Expand weatherization investments, but avoid solutions that require future generations to pick up the tab for the investments we should be making today.