Vermont’s Global Warming Solutions Act requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 26% below 2005 levels by 2025. Emissions would need to be 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below by 2050.
While the legislation sets up new emissions reduction requirements, it does not spell out or dictate how the state will meet them. Instead, it creates a 22-member council, comprising state government officials, citizen experts and others, to come up with a pollution reduction plan by Dec. 1, 2021. It would then be up to the Agency of Natural Resources to adopt new rules to regulate greenhouse gas pollutants by the following year. And it would be up to the Legislature enact policies aimed at cutting emissions proposed by the council.
It creates a cause of action for citizens to sue the state for failing to meet its targets, though available remedies include only court orders to the state, and not damages.