Town meeting resolutions target climate change

Arguing that the state is falling behind in its effort to combat climate change, activists are pushing to get the issue before Town Meeting Day voters this year.
The Burlington-based group 350Vermont says it has petitions underway in at least 30 towns to put a climate resolution on town meeting agendas. Two of those 30 towns are in Addison County: Cornwall and Salisbury.
Such resolutions won’t carry any legal weight. But 350Vermont representatives say they’re trying to drum up support for quicker action to curb fossil fuel use and boost renewable energy.
“People recognize that climate change is urgent and that our political leadership is falling short on solutions,” said Maeve McBride, 350Vermont director.
The resolution asks towns and the state to oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure, including gas pipelines. It also looks for new commitments on the shift to renewable energy.
Vermont’s comprehensive energy plan calls for renewable sources to meet 90 percent of the state’s energy needs by 2050. But 350Vermont says the state is not making enough progress toward that goal.
“We should have a lot more renewable energy infrastructure in place right now,” said Jaiel Pulskamp, a field organizer for the nonprofit. “So we’re falling behind.”
350Vermont also is pushing for steps like improving public transportation, offering more electric car charging stations and weatherizing more homes and buildings, Pulskamp said.

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