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Resolutions filed in several towns to get climate change on Town Meeting warrants

Residents in 30 towns across Vermont — including Brattleboro, Dummerston, Londonderry, Marlboro, Newfane, Putney, and Weston — are petitioning to put climate change on their respective Town Meeting Day agendas and ballots.

Despite Vermont’s goal to power the state with 90 percent renewables by 2050, Vermont is far from meeting this mark.

Vermont isn’t alone. A recently released report from the United Nations shows that the worldwide effort to stem greenhouse gases has fallen short of the goal set by the Paris Climate Agreement.

The climate resolution, developed by 350Vermont, calls on towns and the state of Vermont to make three commitments.

Those commitments include stopping any new fossil fuel infrastructure, like gas pipelines, committing to at least 90 percent renewable energy with firm interim deadlines, and ensuring that the transition to renewable is fair and equitable for all Vermonters.

“The initial response to this campaign has been astounding,” said Maeve McBride, director of 350Vermont, in a news release. “People recognize that climate change is urgent and that our political leadership is falling short on solutions. We need fair and equitable solutions that will create jobs, improve health, provide heating and power sources resilient to extreme weather, and not harm other communities in the process.”

The climate resolutions are part of a larger campaign organized by 350Vermont, called “(Re)generate New Solutions: Building Momentum for Alternatives to Fossil Fuels.”

The campaign will expand to dozens more towns next year and will continue to broaden with additional demands for a fair and just transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable solutions.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #442 (Wednesday, January 17, 2018). This story appeared on page A3.

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