Audubon Vermont Supports the 2024 Environmental Common Agenda

The policies Vermont’s environmental organizations are demanding be prioritized this legislative session strive to increase resiliency and take action against climate change.

The time has come to gear up for another legislative session. On January 3, 2024, Vermont’s legislators reconvened and started the months-long process of deciding which bills should be turned into law. Last year, a few environmental highlights were the passage of the 30x30 land conservation benchmark, increased biodiversity protections, and a bill to study the impacts of pesticide use when addressing aquatic invasive species.

While 2023 saw some significant wins for environmental conservation, we were also given a stark reminder of growing threats against our little state and the world beyond. This summer, the July floods and the air pollution from wildfires caused statewide turmoil and devastating damages. Clean-up efforts are still ongoing. If drastic changes are not implemented now, the consequences of climate change are going to become more and more severe. This does not just affect people - our actions have a direct effect on the wildlife around us. In hopes of setting us on a more resilient path, Audubon Vermont has partnered with more than a dozen other conservation organizations in Vermont in supporting Vermont Conservation Voters’ 2024 Environmental Common Agenda. This article will briefly cover the goals we hope are met during the upcoming legislative session.

Audubon Vermont’s mission is to protect birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. As per our mission, we urge lawmakers to support legislation that protects birds, wildlife and communities, which includes mitigating climate change, increasing resiliency, banning toxic chemicals, and modernizing Act 250.

This session, the legislature has the opportunity to accomplish the following: update the Renewable Energy Standard and require 100% total renewable energy by 2030; invest in cleaner transportation solutions; protect river corridors; improve dam safety; hold fossil fuel companies accountable; implement a wetland “net gain” policy; amend Act 250 to support sustainable development while better protecting forests and critical natural resources; restrict the use of PFAS; protect pollinators through banning neonicotinoid-treated seeds; override the gubernatorial veto of the modernized “Bottle Bill”; and much more.

The people of Vermont, and all the birds and other wildlife that live here with us, depend on swift action by our lawmakers to prioritize combating climate change and protecting working lands, forests, and waterways. We look forward to working alongside legislators to advance these much needed policy changes.

To learn more, read the Common Agenda linked here.

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