Climate Action

Climate Action

VNRC takes a multi-pronged approach to help Vermonters combat the increasingly urgent climate crisis. From digging in at the local level with committed Vermonters to helping to advance strong state policy and in between, we combine exhaustive research, communications, public engagement, and policy advocacy to ensure Vermont embraces bold, equitable, job-creating clean energy solutions. We fundamentally believe that to change everything, we will need everyone. That means you!

Be sure to stay connected – and help us make progress. Find climate action news here.

Global Warming Solutions Act: Climate Council

Implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act began in October 2020 with appointments to the Climate Council. The Solutions Act transforms Vermont’s existing emission reduction goals into requirements and established the Climate Council to develop a plan to meet these mandates. The Council held its first meeting on November 20, 2020.

VNRC’s Energy and Climate Program Director Johanna Miller, who was instrumental in the fight to advance the Solutions Act, was appointed by House Speaker Mitzi Johnson to represent a statewide environmental organization. Chad Farrell, who runs Encore Renewable Energy in Burlington, will be representing the clean energy sector. Farrell is also a Board member of VNRC. Find a full list of appointees here.

Climate Council cheat sheet

Check out this helpful resource that outlines key dates for Climate Council process, the sequence of work, the structure of subcommittees, and more.

Global Warming Solutions Act is Law

In September 2020 the Vermont Legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688). It will require Vermont to lower its climate-damaging emissions while creating jobs, improving community resilience, and reducing burdens for rural and marginalized communities to access clean energy, transportation, heating, and housing. Learn more here about how the Solutions Act can usher in a resilient, green recovery from COVID-19.

The road to passage wasn’t easy. VNRC worked with a diverse 30-member coalition representing environmental, climate justice, low income, business, public health, youth, and faith organizations to advance the legislation, which passed the Vermont Senate and the Vermont House of Representatives, but was vetoed by Governor Scott.

The Global Warming Solutions Act became law on September 22, 2020 after the House (103-47) and Senate (22-8) voted overwhelmingly to override the Governor’s veto of the bill. We thank the legislators who voted YES to seize this critical opportunity for climate action!

Learn more about the Solutions Act at https://www.actonclimatevt.org/faq. Stay tuned for how you can get involved in the implementation process.

Climate Dispatch from the State House

Wondering what is happening — or not happening — at the State House on climate change? In brief live videos, we summarize what’s happening each week in the Vermont Legislature on climate and clean energy. Plus, we share easy ways you can help ensure that policymakers act on this critical issue. Find the Climate Dispatch here!

Sign up here to receive the Climate Dispatch in your inbox when a new episode comes out.

2020 Plan for Climate Action in Vermont

Find our 2020 Plan for Climate Action here, signed onto by 30 organizations across Vermont in January 2020.

Vermonters know that global warming is our largest threat and climate action is our greatest opportunity. We share a responsibility to reduce the pollution that is driving global warming while strengthening our economy, protecting public health, and advancing equity.

The stakes could not be higher. Vermonters are experiencing the intensifying, negative impacts of a warming world and these changes threaten our every pursuit. Mild winters and early springs are straining our economy, putting our farming, forestry, maple sugaring, and winter sports at risk. More frequent and intense storms are causing flood damage, including an intense 2019 Halloween rain storm which resulted in a $5 million+ price tag for Vermonters and the fifth largest outage even in Green Mountain Power’s history.

Warmer average temperatures are diminishing water quality, degrading critical wildlife habitat, and have dramatically increased the number of tick and mosquito borne diseases while invasive plant species thrive, affecting crops and forests. The public health consequences of global warming have led the World Health Organization to declare climate change as “the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.”

Our 2020 Climate Platform presents four main areas of focus in the Legislature this year. Find a summary here and read the platform here.

Climate Leadership Institute

In partnership with Vermont Conservation Voters, VNRC fosters informed engagement of community energy leaders in local and state policy-making and supports them in becoming decision makers in municipal and state government, including running for election to the Vermont Legislature.

For more information about how you — or someone you might know — might consider taking leadership to the next level and running for office on a clean energy and climate action platform, contact Vermont Conservation Voters at info@vermontconservationvoters.org


What future are we leaving our kids?

Our future is threatened by climate change — and so are Vermont’s winters. Check out this video, where the kids say it best: Big problems demand big solutions, and we can’t do it ourselves.

Please share this video widely and make sure your elected officials are articulating a concrete, meaningful plan for progress on climate change.