MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) There are now 53 recommendations sitting with Vermont’s governor on how the state should tackle climate change. But some say those aren’t enough.
“The reality is there is no one lever that gets us there,” said Peter Walke, the deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.
Walke says the 21-member commission tasked with finding a solution to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions didn’t have one over-arching priority. But the governor did. He wanted solutions that spurred economic activity and made things cheaper for Vermonters.
“If it didn’t drive economic activity and didn’t save Vermonters money, then it wasn’t– doing it just for climate reasons wasn’t going to be enough anyway,” Walke said.
Change might start with what you drive. More than 40 percent of emissions in Vermont are from transportation. Walke says carpooling and shifting to electric cars is a start but it won’t work for everyone.
The report also calls for more advanced wood heating instead of fossil fuels for heating. But the Energy Action Network says steps in the consensus report won’t be enough.
“The recommendations are really a first step,” said Jared Duval of the Energy Action Network.
The Energy Action Network says emissions are on the rise, so even more aggressive changes are needed if Vermont is to meet its goal of reducing emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels in the next 10 years.
“It’s clear that we’re not going to meet our climate pollution goals and we’re not gonna grow our economy as much as we could if we don’t have further-reaching, more ambitious goals than what are in this report,” Duval said.
The governor plans to meet with the commission this month to discuss the recommendations and will then review them with his policy team in the coming weeks.