From experimenting with single payer health care to raising its minimum wage, Vermont always seems to be a step ahead of national policy. Now the forward-thinking New England state can boast the nation’s first long-term climate plan that could offer a role model for other states. The Vermont Climate Assessment report provides historical data and expert predictions on how climate change is going to impact the Green Mountain State over the next century so policymakers, farmers, industry and business leaders can make adaptation and mitigation plans.
“The Vermont Climate Assessment paints a vivid picture of a changing climate in Vermont and calls for immediate strategic planning to sustain the social, economic and environmental fabric of our state,” the report states. “The Vermont Climate Assessment is the first state-scale climate assessment in the country and speaks directly to the impacts of climate change as they pertain to our rural towns, cities and communities, including impacts on Vermont tourism and recreation, agriculture, natural resources and energy.”
The climate plan’s three goals include furthering scientific understanding of global warming trends, developing a deeper understanding of future impacts of climate change and communicating how climate change is currently impacting state-wide industries. The report’s authors examined over 175 scientific studies, received historical climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service and projections of future climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The report finds that climate change could have a positive short term impact on the state with more snow for ski resorts over the next 25 to 40 years. However, over the long term Vermont could see more flooding, pests and dry periods. The scientists behind the report recommend that the state continue pushing to reach its goal of generating 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.
“We are small, but we’re trying to be a role model for the other states,” said University of Vermont climate scientist and lead author Dr. Gillian Galford.
Via New Scientist
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