Clean energy and climate change
Moving Vermont from fossil fuels toward a clean-energy economy.
Vermont has become a national leader in responding to global warming with positive, long-term action — but far more still must be done.
These nonprofits are playing important, active roles in the complex push to move Vermont toward a future free of climate-damaging fossil fuels.
Vermont Public Interest Research Group
The Vermont Public Interest Research Group was a leader of the climate solutions movement that spurred passage of the state’s landmark 2020 Global Warming Solutions Act. Its work on climate and energy continues:
- VPIRG pushed successfully for 2021’s largest-ever state investment in climate action, with major funding for electrification, weatherization, community-scale renewable energy and climate action.
- Vermont now has a multi-faceted, far-reaching Climate Action Plan — and VPIRG is making citizen voices heard in the hard work of turning the plan’s goals into solid policies.
- A core aim of VPIRG’s energy and climate work is that as we move away from fossil fuels, all Vermonters — including those in low-income, rural and historically marginalized communities — deserve access to clean and affordable energy, heat and transportation.
Conservation Law Foundation
The Conservation Law Foundation pushes for legal, legislative and regulatory solutions to both the energy transition and the impacts of climate change:
- CLF supports key policies in each New England state: portfolio standards, requiring that a certain amount of electricity be generated renewably; the lifting of caps on net metering, to compensate customers who generate solar power; and transmission upgrades to better connect renewable energy to the regional grid.
- CLF also advances measures that help communities prepare for climate impacts: updates to building codes, protections for utility infrastructure, safeguards for vulnerable neighborhoods, and measures that hold big oil companies accountable for the impacts of oil-storage terminals and other facilities.
Vermont Natural Resources Council
The Vermont Natural Resources Council focuses much of its energy and climate work on helping local communities make positive change:
- VNRC is lead organizer of the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network, through which more than 120 local energy committees across the state get support from a diverse group of partner organizations.
- The Council works with Efficiency Vermont, the state’s pioneering energy efficiency utility, in helping communities take on efficiency projects and invest in both energy efficiency and conservation.
Vermont Council on Rural Development
Through its close engagement with communities across the state, the Vermont Council on Rural Development is building local leadership for climate initiatives:
- The Climate Catalysts Program brings together a diversity of Vermonters to build connections, strengthen leadership skills, and receive support in developing local climate-economy projects.
- The Climate Catalyst Innovation Fund provides small grants for innovative climate projects at the community level around the state.
Citizens Awareness Network
The grassroots Citizens Awareness Network played key roles in the closure of Vermont Yankee and three other New England nuclear power plants. It continues to promote both clean energy and safe solutions for nuclear waste:
- At the old Vermont Yankee site in Vernon, more than 1,600 tons of highly radioactive, incredibly toxic nuclear waste are in casks on the banks of the Connecticut River. CAN is pushing to ensure that this and other high-level nuclear waste isn’t dumped on poor, indigenous and minority communities elsewhere in the U.S.