Climate change is real. And it's here.
Vermont municipalities are living with the accelerating effects of climate change: rising temperatures, increased heavy precipitation (and, ironically, increased drought), changing biodiversity, an influx of invasive species, and environmental health risks. In Vermont, the largest sector of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is transportation, followed by building thermal energy, agricultural, industrial, electrical, and waste management processes. We also know that local governments – every city, town, and village – along with the state and federal governments will need to act to meet the mounting challenges presented by climate change. The breadth of pressing issues relating to climate change that affect local governments is wide. Opportunities created in recent federal legislation – the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – will help state and local governments make historic and significant progress to further prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change and make them more resilient as events – natural or economic – become more extreme.
WHAT FEDERAL FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO MY MUNICIPALITY FOR CLIMATE AND ENERGY PROJECTS?
Refer to VLCT's Vermont Federal Funding Guidebook. We have culled the hundreds of new federal funding programs, eliminating those that are inappropriate for or not applicable to Vermont’s municipalities. Those that remain, we have combined into a single document. For each one, we have reviewed the program details, read the NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) and pulled out the most salient details about the funding source we know at this moment. If you get stuck or feel overwhelmed, don't get discouraged - we can help! You can book an appointment to self-schedule a video conference with us or send us an email: FFA@vlct.org.
USER TIP: To search the Guidebook for your topic of interest, you can use the “shortcut keys” on your computer. Open the document, hit the “Control” and “F” keys simultaneously and then type the keyword you want to search into the dialogue box that opens in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. If you type “water” it will show you every time “water” is used in the document.
In 2020, the Vermont Legislature and Governor Scott acted to address climate issues and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The legislature passed Act 153, the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The Climate Action Plan – mandated by Act 153 and adopted and developed by the twenty-three member Vermont Climate Council with administration support the following year – focuses on implementing the law’s mandates to reduce emissions by 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Additionally, the plan calls for increasing resilience in local ecosystems, investing in and protecting communities from climate impact, and capturing carbon. Part of the legislation established that if the state does not meet the GHG emissions goals, it may be sued by individuals who perceive that not enough is being done.
Yes, municipalities have a role to play in the Climate Action Plan . It includes almost 100 references to municipalities and their roles in climate action and GHG reduction.
YES! A simple 4-page summary can be found HERE.
Refer to VLCT's Advocacy Team's 2022 Municipal Action Paper "Climate Action – Thinking Globally, Acting Locally" (found HERE).
Is there a Vermont specific "Climate Assessment" that assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across Vermont?
The Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) has a webpage (HERE) loaded with information and resources to help you get started. VECAN is the network of over 100 Vermont town energy committees and the organizations that support them. Town energy committees are leading a powerful grassroots response to the pressing need to be more energy efficient and generate more in-state renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Need one-on-one help?
Grab 15 minutes with us for an appointment! Our "Consults on Call" office hours are Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00 pm and 7:00-8:00 pm. Simply click the blue "Book An Appointment" button, select the date and time that works best for you and complete the details. If you think you need more than 15 minutes, please email FFA@vlct.org to schedule a longer time slot.