Last Friday, 13 business, low income, faith and environmental organizations denounced President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement and sent a letter to Governor Scott urging swift action to stem the negative consequences of this shortsighted move. We are pleased that Governor Scott has decided that Vermont will join other state’s in the U.S. Climate Alliance; one of six specific actions the groups called on Gov. Scott to take. Today, the organizations thank Gov. Scott for taking this first step and ask him to act on five other specific requests. Those include:
- Convening the Vermont Climate Cabinet and reconstituting the Governor’s Advisory Council on Energy and the Environment to identify and advance the solutions required to make meaningful state-level progress towards mitigating and adapting to climate change.
- Supporting enactment of legislation to statutorily enshrine the 90 percent by 2050 renewable goal.
- Reconsidering his recent proposal to significantly cut Efficiency Vermont’s funding and, instead, commit to funding all cost-effective efficiency measures.
- Commit Vermont to fully utilizing and leveraging the Volkswagon and future settlement funds to electrify and transform the state’s transportation sector.
- Put forth a clear plan for reaching Vermont’s near- and long-term greenhouse gas emission goals; outlining specifically how the Scott administration will implement the Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) and address climate resilience needs.
The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement makes it clear that Vermont cannot rely on the federal government to address climate change and that this responsibility now lies squarely with the states. Meeting the obligations of the Paris Agreement, the CEP and the state’s own statutory GHG reduction goals will require Governor Scott and state agencies to clearly identify, outline and advance specific policies and programs.
The 13 organizations who urged the above action include Capstone Community Action, Conservation Law Foundation, Lake Champlain International, Rights and Democracy, Renewable Energy Vermont, Vermont Business for Social Responsibility, Vermont Natural Resources Council, VPIRG, Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance, Vermont Conservation Voters, Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club, Vermont Interfaith Power & Light, 350 Vermont. Each of these organizations look forward to working with Gov. Scott, his administration, the legislature, businesses and deeply concerned Vermonters to advance climate solutions that work for Vermont and create a thriving 21st century clean energy economy.