WASHINGTON – “Seeing a large, influential state like Virginia take serious strides to achieve a 100% clean energy standard shows growing demand for achieving net-zero emissions economy wide,” said Renee Stone, vice president for climate at the National Audubon Society. “We support this practical, ambitious approach, as we support all climate solutions that reduce harmful emissions at the speed and scale necessary to deal with this serious threat.”
The Virginia Clean Economy Act introduced today by Senator Jennifer McClellan, Delegate Rip Sullivan, Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Delegate Alfonso Lopez provides a roadmap to reaching 100% clean energy by 2050, in line with goals outlined by Audubon’s Climate Initiative and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The bill substantially increases the role of distributed generation, which will increase the share of small-scale clean energy options, while growing a free energy market and providing better consumer choice in clean energy. Additionally, the act establishes an energy storage deployment target that will strengthen the overall electricity grid of Virginia, making it more reliable, efficient, and better suited for the integration of more renewable energy.
The legislation also calls for Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which has proven to be a successful market-based system to drive down carbon emissions while maintaining economic stability. The addition of Virginia in the RGGI will make a significant impact on regulating emissions on a broader scale throughout the northeast.
“Our studies show nearly two-thirds of our birds are at risk of extinction from climate change, which is a clear warning of the dangers a changing environment will have on wildlife, people, and our communities,” said Stone. “It’s more important than ever to push for an economy with net-zero carbon emissions, and break away from our reliance on fossil fuels – as this bill begins to do. We hope it inspires even larger-scale solutions to curb the negative effects of a changing climate.”
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.
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