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Vermont is not on track to meet 2030 emissions reductions requirements, report confirms – Brospar Daily News

Vermont fails to meet 2030 climate emissions requirements under its law, latest data shows Annual progress report From the Energy Action Network, published Wednesday.

The network, a nonprofit organization that analyzes and tracks Vermont’s emissions, concluded in its report that Vermont has not pursued strategies that would surely result in significant emission reductions. It’s a conclusion familiar to some lawmakers and state officials, who knew it at the end of the last legislative session. Vermont took a wrong turn.

Significant action is needed for Vermont’s transportation and thermal power sectors, which together generate about 74 percent of state emissions, according to the report.

In 2020, state legislators Pass the Global Warming Solutions Act, which has implemented legally binding emission reduction measures. He created the Vermont Climate Commission to develop plans to meet emissions requirements. This map is Published last December.

Individuals or entities can sue the state if the state fails to meet emission reduction requirements. in this case, the judge can order State departments of natural resources are implementing climate mitigation strategies, which are more likely to focus on regulations rather than strategies developed by the Climate Council.

Two of the most impactful solutions proposed by the Climate Commission – the Clean Heating Standard and the Regional Transport Climate Initiative Program, or TCI-P – have failed, hampering opportunities for progress.

Jared Duval, executive director of the Energy Action Network, said Vermont needs to consider two policies that “have been demonstrated by other states and countries to provide a high level of confidence in reducing emissions” – caps. emissions and performance standards and member of the Climate Council.

Vermont has adopted emissions caps in the electricity sector, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and performance standards called the Renewable Energy Standard, which together reduce electricity emissions, according to the Energy Action Network. .

According to the Energy Action Network report, some existing policies should naturally drive Vermont’s emissions reductions, but “without meaningful additional policies and programs, the status quo should not bring us closer to meeting the requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act.” . Especially in 2030.”

Governor Phil Scott vetoed the clean heat standard during the last legislative session, lawmakers failed to void invoice a note. By incentivizing and forcing changes to the state’s heating sector, the clean heat standard is expected to be responsible for one-third of the state’s needed emissions reductions, according to an analysis by the Energy Action Network.

TCI-P, a regional transportation initiative to limit tailpipe emissions, collapsed just weeks before the Climate Commission released Vermont’s first climate action plan in late 2021, after governors Massachusetts and Connecticut reinforced high gasoline prices. per exit. Transportation emits more emissions than any other sector in Vermont, and the program is expected to reduce emissions by 26% in participating states.

Even if lawmakers and state officials implement the Commission’s most impactful climate proposal, the state may not meet its targets.

“We need all pathways and measures, including but not limited to the transport and heat sectors, to achieve our goal at the scale and speed of simulation. [Global Warming Solutions Act] Require. If we fail to meet any of these goals, other avenues and/or measures will need to do more to make up the difference,” Energy Action Network said in the report.

At Climate Council meetings, Chris Campany, Council Member and Director of the Windham Regional Council, often stresses the importance of Vermont preparing for the impacts of climate change while reducing emissions.

Campany told VTDigger that the fact that Vermont is unlikely to meet 2030 emissions reflects the fact that Vermont has “limited resources for a small population” and “has been trying to change our relationship with energy ever since. nearly a century and a quarter”. Time. Fairly fast turnaround, somewhat independent of everyone else. Still, juggling emissions reductions and climate change resilience is important for the state, he said.

“We need to find resources to do both,” he said. “We need to find the political will to actually act to make people already at risk more protected, more resilient, and then to prevent future developments that endanger people and property.”

Campani pointed out Worsening of drought in the state, and climate change events This has been happening across the country and around the world over the past few weeks. Last year, Vermont experienced one of the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Irene hit southern Vermont, and this year the region is dry, he said.

Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act aims to bring the state Paris Agreementwhich aims to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The Energy Action Network report begins with a sobering reminder of a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: World leaders have “a short and fast-closing window to secure a future livable “.

Still, Campani said the crisis required pause and reflection.

“If we could give ourselves space to step back for a minute and understand, do we have to approach it differently?” he said.

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