Vermont climate accountability legislation
Credit: The National Guard/Flickr

Vermont enacts climate accountability legislation

Vermont's new bill holds high-emission companies accountable for climate-related damages.

Maura Barrett and Lucas Thompson report for NBC News.


In short:

  • Vermont's Climate Superfund Act requires companies like oil giants to pay for climate change-related damages.
  • Payments will be calculated based on each company's emissions from 1995 to 2024 and the impact of those emissions on Vermont's extreme weather.
  • The funds collected will be used to enhance infrastructure, weatherproof public buildings, and address health impacts of climate change.

Key quote:

"We’re able to say very clearly, ‘We would not be experiencing these intense global temperatures without human-caused climate change and the history of carbon pollution.’"

— Andrew Pershing, vice president for science at Climate Central

Why this matters:

This law links financial accountability to scientific research on climate impact, potentially setting a precedent for other states. It addresses not just environmental but also public health challenges, offering a model for proactive climate adaptation and mitigation. Read more: "We just can’t quit fossil fuels, can we?"

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