The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
§ 578. Greenhouse gas reduction requirements
(a) Greenhouse gas reduction requirements. Vermont shall reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from within the geographical boundaries of the State and those emissions outside the boundaries of the State that are caused by the use of energy in Vermont, as measured and inventoried pursuant to section 582 of this title, by:
(1) not less than 26 percent from 2005 greenhouse gas emissions by January 1, 2025 pursuant to the State’s membership in the United States Climate Alliance and commitment to implement policies to achieve the objectives of the 2016 Paris Agreement;
(2) not less than 40 percent from 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by January 1, 2030 pursuant to the State’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan; and
(3) not less than 80 percent from 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by January 1, 2050 pursuant to the State’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan.
(b) Vermont climate collaborative. The Secretary will participate in the Vermont climate collaborative, a collaboration between State government and Vermont’s higher education, business, agricultural, labor, and environmental communities. Wherever possible, members of the collaborative shall be included among the membership of the program development working groups established by the climate change oversight committee created under 2008 Acts and Resolves No. 209, Sec. 14. State entities shall cooperate with the climate change oversight committee in pursuing the priorities identified by the committee. The Secretary shall notify the general public that the collaborative is developing greenhouse gas reduction programs and shall provide meaningful opportunity for public comment on program development. Programs shall be developed in a manner that implements State energy policy, as specified in 30 V.S.A. § 202a.
(c) Implementation of State programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In order to facilitate the State’s compliance with the goals established in this section, all State agencies shall consider any increase or decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in their decision-making procedures with respect to the purchase and use of equipment and goods; the siting, construction, and maintenance of buildings; the assignment of personnel; and the planning, design, and operation of programs, services, and infrastructure.
(d) Advocacy for cap and trade program for greenhouse gases, including those caused by transportation, heating, cooling, and ventilation. In order to increase the likelihood of the State meeting the goals established under this section, the Public Utility Commission, the Secretary of Natural Resources, and the Commissioner of Public Service shall advocate before appropriate regional or national entities and working groups in favor of the establishment of a regional or national cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions, including those caused by transportation, heating, cooling, and ventilation. This may take the form of an expansion of the existing regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI), or it may entail the creation of an entirely new and separate regional or national cap and trade initiative that includes a 100 percent consumer allocation system. (Added 2005, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2007, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 3a; 2019, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Sept. 22, 2020.)