On February 2, 2016, the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC) proposed a bold new vision and strategy for economic development statewide. With the State House release of Progress for Vermont, the Council is highlighting ways to make Vermont the most desirable location for creative small businesses and innovative entrepreneurs that advance clean energy generation, improve efficiencies, transform transportation and revitalize communities. Many of the state’s business innovators are already finding practical ways to reduce carbon emissions and diminish climate risk while providing their products and services around the world. The VCCEC strategies are designed to stimulate this green economy and assure Vermont remains a national leader in this expanding sector.
The VCCEC was formed in 2015 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) following its first Summit on Vermont’s Climate Change Economy. This broad-based nonpartisan group spent the past year considering multiple policy options to produce these recommendations to build a strong economic future for Vermont.
“There is an increasing demand in the global marketplace for low-carbon solutions,” pointed out VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello. “Vermont is in position to be the friendliest place in the country for creating jobs that build from our values while addressing this enormous challenge. Let’s be the small, green Silicon Valley of the Climate Economy.”
Among the strategies are:
- Setting up a Model Climate Economy Communities Program to help Vermont towns rapidly expand local energy generation and transportation options while attracting green businesses and younger residents;
- Developing a first-in-the-nation Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Partnership to expand the scope of Efficiency VT and its partners to include home heating and transportation savings;
- Evaluating and advancing a carbon pricing or trading system for Vermont that would reduce carbon emissions and invest in the progress of Vermont’s economy;
- Establishing a network to attract, support, and cultivate new entrepreneurs and help them grow their enterprises in Vermont.
Progress for Vermont will be center stage at the second Summit on Vermont’s Climate Economy on February 22 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph.
Over 400 business leaders, youth, legislators, the Governor’s Climate Cabinet, investors, and other stakeholders will review strategies in the Action Plan and plan the best ways to move them forward.
To download the report and to see the most up-to-date agenda, list of speakers, and topics for the Summit, visit vtrural.org/summit16 . For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.