Global Warming Solutions Act
The House and Senate recently passed the Global Warming Solutions Act (H. 688), here's a quick description of the legislation. I was happy to vote for this bill as an important step in our work address climate change.
The Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688) will help Vermont reduce its greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors, from transportation and heating to agriculture and utilities. By promoting strategic and cost-effective solutions, the GWSA will protect our environment, save Vermonters money, and transition our economy away from its reliance on dirty, imported fossil fuels to the clean, renewable fuels of the future.
For more than a decade, Vermont has had goals in statute to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. But we’ve failed to achieve those goals. In fact, among Northeastern states Vermont is alone in having higher emissions rates today than in 1990.
The GWSA converts Vermont’s emissions goals into requirements at a rate that’s achievable and realistic. To accomplish this, the GWSA sets up a Climate Council — with representatives from relevant state agencies, science and climate experts and other diverse stakeholders — to develop a Climate Plan. The plan must prioritize strategies that are fair and equitable, that are technologically feasible, and that reduce the energy burden and impact on rural, low-income and marginalized Vermonters.
From warmer winters to severe storms, climate change is already hitting Vermont hard, and the cost of responding will grow higher the longer we wait. The GWSA provides a clear roadmap to build resilience across Vermont communities while investing in a more sustainable, locally-based economy. Now that the House and Senate have both passed the GWSA, the bill will move to the Governor’s desk for final consideration.