Vermont must prepare for a changing climate and cut its climate pollution. To meet the target in Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act, carbon and methane emissions need to be reduced by half by 2030. To do this, Vermont will need to prioritize helping the people who will be most affected by climate change.
The Legislature established the Vermont Climate Council to draft a Climate Action Plan. As they drafted the plan, the Climate Council incorporated ideas and feedback from a wide range of Vermonters. In addition, the Climate Council developed this plan in coordination with the State of Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan (released November 2021), which details energy opportunities and challenges for the State. Five subcommittees shaped the plan: Rural Resilience and Adaptation, Agriculture and Ecosystems, Cross Sector Mitigation, Just Transitions, and Science and Data.
Based on current trends and modeling, it is expected that Vermont will be faced with:
- More rain and flooding: Extreme precipitation events, such as those with 2" or greater precipitation in a 24-hour period, will likely increase in frequency. These events could cause flooding that threatens homes, businesses, infrastructure, communication, and transportation systems.
- Changes to agriculture: Shifts in growing season lengths and more rain will complicate growing conditions for many crops, including apples and maple syrup, increasing the likelihood of crop damage or crop failure. Rising temperatures can also lead to heat-stress for livestock.
- Forest composition: Ecosystems will be increasingly threatened by invasive pests and plants that move north, shifts in the growing season and changes in the natural range of plants.