Vermont House gives initial OK to Global Warming Solutions Act

Vermont Business Magazine Today the Vermont House approved H.688, the Global Warming Solutions Act, on a vote of 105-37.

The bill establishes greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements and deadlines for action. H.688 creates a roadmap to a coordinated, coherent strategy for Vermont to build more resilient communities and reduce our greenhouse gas pollution.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero) remarked, “climate change is disrupting the Vermont way of life with shorter winters and devastating storms. We must act. The Global Warming Solutions Act approved today ensures we are holding the state accountable for developing and achieving greenhouse gas reduction goals that address the severity and urgency of the climate crisis. This bill seeks feasible, effective solutions that support businesses and resilient working lands in Vermont while minimizing the negative impacts on rural communities and vulnerable populations. H.688 is an exciting opportunity to strengthen our economic future and lead the nation in addressing climate change at the community and state level.”

“This bill places our greenhouse gas reductions consistent with Governor Scott’s Paris Agreement promise,” added Representative Tim Briglin (D-Thetford), Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Technology. “We know that we must reduce our midcentury greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% or risk a planet that is uninhabitable. We also know that changing climate patterns put Vermont at risk for more frequent catastrophic weather events for which we’re unprepared. We know that every year fossil fuel purchases drain $1.5 billion from Vermont’s economy enriching faraway oil and gas corporations. And we know that a green energy economy would keep more of our wealth at home, working for us. There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.The next best time is today. The best time to deal with climate change was 20 years ago. Today, it’s time for Vermont to take action on the climate emergency. I’m proud that the House today approved the Global Warming Solutions Act to build the strong, healthy economy Vermont needs for the 21st century.”

VNRC Summary
H.688: Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act
1. Gets us back on track. The bill requires we cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050, and includes benchmarks along the way.
2. Ensures a just transition. The bill requires that climate solutions reduce energy burdens and minimize negative impacts on rural and marginalized communities.
3. Brings the best solutions forward. The bill ensures solutions that grow the economy while protecting public health. It creates an open, inclusive process that gives everyone, from farmers to builders to local communities, a voice in crafting the state’s path forward.
4. Uses natural systems to fight the climate crisis. The bill promotes the use of natural systems and working lands to capture and store carbon, protect against severe weather events, and build community resilience.
5. Is clear and ensures accountability.The bill sets deadlines for climate action and requires regular progress reporting. It also allows Vermonters to hold the State accountable if the climate pollution requirements are ignored.

Source: MONTPELIER - House Speaker 2.20.2020. VNRC 2.21.2020