Vermonters voice suggestions for Climate Action Plan

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 8:01 PM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - The state wants to know which policies you think will help achieve its climate goals. Sunday, the Vermont Climate Council hosted the fourth of seven public hearings welcoming feedback.

“Climate change does not allow us to be timid about policymaking,” said Terry Bouricius.

Bouricius, a former state legislator, says he is ready to see Vermont take bold steps to combat climate change.

“I’ve been working on this battle for like, more than 30 years, and it is so frustrating to see politicians, generation after generation of politicians, kick the can down the road and not actually take the action that’s needed,” said Bouricius.

Right now, the state is developing a plan to cut Vermont’s contribution to climate change. The first benchmark is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 26% below 2005 levels by 2025.

It’s a requirement under the Global Warming Solutions Act, which passed last year.

“The kind of transformative change we need in Vermont to actually meet those reduction requirements is an all-hands on deck effort,” said Jane Lazorchak, the director of the Global Warming Solutions Act.

The Vermont Climate Council must present an official draft of the Climate Action Plan by Dec. 1.

The Agency of Natural Resources is asking Vermonters to share which strategies they think will get us to the goal.

“We see this as a co-creation process with Vermonters and trying to engage with them to hear their ideas for solutions and what the barriers are for moving those forward,” said Lazorchak.

Vermonters were there to listen and offer their opinions.

“There’s so many different ideas out there, and you’re not going to be able to find the best of them if it’s just a couple of people. You got to filter through all of them to find the best ones,” said Kira Ecay, a student at UVM.

“I don’t want to see any more blowing up mountaintops for industrial wind projects. It’s very harmful ecologically,” said Bruce Post of Essex. “I want to see if we’re really honest with ourselves about the tremendous changes we’re going to have to make in our culture if we’re going to be able to deal with climate change.”

On Oct. 12, the Climate Council will be meeting to discuss the suggestions and how it can incorporate that information into the plan.

There will be three more meetings, all virtual, in the next two weeks for you to share your experience with climate change and to voice your opinion on the proposed climate action plan.

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