Vermont’s legislature hit the ground running this year. Lawmakers are taking up critical bills to tackle climate change – bills that put the state on a path to slash polluting emissions while making sure rural communities and hardworking Vermonters prosper.
The young climate activist from Sweden, Greta Thurnberg, has provided us all a much-needed jolt when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. She strikes outside the Swedish Parliament to highlight the harm climate change is causing to the planet and invites us all to join in this cause. No one can dispute that what she says is true. From crazy weather to droughts, famines, and wildfires, the impacts of climate change on our lives and our pocketbooks is undeniable. We can choose to ignore them at our peril or take steps to act and hand a better world to future generations.
Her activism is a reminder of the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for Vermont to buckle down and get moving on legislation to thwart the worst impacts of climate catastrophe.
Supporting a Bill to Stop Emissions from Rising in Vermont
It’s been troubling to watch as Vermont’s climate-damaging emissions have increased in recent years instead of turning back the way they need to. The good news is that our Legislature is poised to reverse this trend. A key bill – the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act – is gaining lots of attention and support. It turns the State’s goals to reduce harmful climate pollution into clear requirements and makes sure that the actions we take to get there benefit everyone. If passed, Vermont would join nearby states, including Massachusetts, Maine, New York, and Connecticut, in taking strong steps so our collective efforts succeed.
The Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act would deliver real solutions. It creates a Vermont Climate Council to recommend actions that achieve the needed reductions by 2050 with clear benchmarks along the way. The bill also requires the state to put in place regulations to ensure success. No more missing targets or wishing we had done better. We will see progress and know we are on track each step of the way.
Helping Low-Income and Rural Communities Prepare for Climate Change
The bill is not just about regulations to slash emissions. It also kickstarts action to help rural communities stay resilient in the face of climate impacts. With this bill, our rural areas will be better prepared for the next storm – which we know is coming. It also makes sure that Vermonters with lower incomes, and those hit hardest by the costs of climate change, will have better access to clean energy, clean transportation, and lower heating and housing costs. Growing jobs and saving money makes this a win for everyone.
The bill also promotes the use of natural systems and working lands to capture and store carbon to better protect our homes, businesses, and communities against severe storms and floods. Vermont’s trees, soil, wetlands, and shorelines have valuable natural features that bolster resilience and keep carbon out of the atmosphere, keep water clean and flowing within river banks, and keep farmland fertile. Supporting and protecting these natural systems saves money and keeps us all healthier and safer.
The Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act Provides Far Reaching Benefits
A Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act will guide state action to slash emissions, encourage investments in clean energy and community resilience, and modernize our roads and our wastewater and energy facilities. Families driving electric vehicles, or who don’t need to drive, will pay less to fuel their cars and have more money available for other needs. Weatherizing our oldest homes makes them safer and more comfortable. And using more renewable electricity will keep lights on and businesses successful for the next decade and beyond.
Putting in place sound policies now allows Vermont to stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors in making sure we hand a livable region to our children. Right now, nearly 80 cents of every dollar we spend on fossil fuels leaves the state. That’s over $1.5 billion dollars every year draining out of our economy. Using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels keeps two to three times the energy dollars in Vermont.
Our reliance on dirty fossil fuels wrecks our air, our climate, and our future. We can do better. The Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act makes sure we do. Doubling down on climate action goes a long way towards cutting pollution and keeping more money in Vermonter’s wallets. We can’t stop now.
Our legislature is off to a good start to make bold climate action happen this year. The State has a lot of experience with policies and actions that bring about change and set a new course. Let’s make sure this year is the one where climate comes first.
To help move this bill forward, contact your legislators by phone or email and ask them to support the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act. You can learn who your representatives are here, and they can be contacted by calling 802.828.2228 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.