On April 12, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). Amidst the deluge of scary news about COVID-19 and the reeling economy, this ray of hope almost got lost. So let’s pause a moment and soak in some good news along with the spring sunshine.
VCEA will transition Virginia to 100% clean energy by 2050. It puts Virginia into the vanguard of states enacting policies that are setting the pace nationally. It will eliminate carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy, creating thousands of new jobs — all the more important now, when the solar industry is suffering record job losses because of COVID-19.
Behind this victory was a broad array of business support — the key element that can tip the balance toward victory in tough pro-climate public policy battles. At ClimateVoice, VCEA was one of our first policy campaigns, and we’re proud to be part of this early win. We are working to activate companies to go #AllinOnClimate, by mobilizing the workforce, and hundreds have already taken our ClimateVoice Pledge.
One more state taking bold action is encouraging, but we have a long way to go nationally to get to zero carbon emissions by 2050 (and equally important: 50% cut in emissions by 2030). Now we need many other states to follow suit. At the federal level, we are working to #BuildBackBetter, making sustainability a cornerstone of forthcoming stimulus packages passed by Congress. More on that to come!