Protect Virginia's Climate Legacy

The climate crisis is here, and it’s hurting every community in Virginia. Flooding from sea-level rise has become one of the most challenging public policy issues ever to face coastal Virginia. Intense storms are devastating agriculture across the state. Dangerous heat waves are causing asthma hospitalizations, heart attacks, and more. 

Yet Governor Glenn Youngkin had barely started his term in office when he began dragging Virginia backwards on climate. The Governor and his allies have attempted to dismantle Virginia’s clean energy wins through bad-faith budget amendments, direct attack legislation and regulatory tweaks.

We’re working to protect Virginia’s core climate policies: the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and our Clean Car Standards.

Join us to preserve Virginia’s role as a national climate leader so we can continue to protect our communities in 2024 and beyond. 

Virginia Has Made Historic Progress on Climate

For decades, Virginia was in the back of the pack when it came to climate action. The Commonwealth’s energy policy has been influenced by utility monopoly Dominion Energy for years, leading to high bills for dirty energy, all in the name of Dominion’s profits. The company has a track record supporting bills that rip off ratepayers and making plans to massively build out gas infrastructure.

This all changed in two short years, when the makeup of the General Assembly shifted to a more climate-friendly legislature in 2019 and 2020 During this time, then-Governor Northam declared by executive order that Virginia would join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — a regional carbon market that caps and reduces pollution — and the General Assembly passed a law that codifies Virginia’s participation and allows the people of the Commonwealth to access millions of dollars for climate resilience and lower electricity bills. 

Then, the legislature passed the historic Virginia Clean Economy Act, which made the state a national leader on clean energy and carbon reduction by requiring a 100% clean, renewable  power grid by 2045, with a benchmark of 41% by 2030. This policy reverses decades of bad energy policy in Virginia by mandating the shutdown of most of the state’s coal plants by 2025, opening the gate to the biggest offshore wind farm in America turbocharging our solar energy buildout, and mandating the use of LESS electricity statewide in the future. It was so significant that Dominion pointed to it as the reason that the company had to abandon its previous plans to build a huge fracked gas pipeline and other major gas infrastructure. 

Watch the Video:
Virginians March BACKWARDS to Protest Youngkin’s Backward Climate Policies

Now We’re Holding the Line: Fending Off Attacks from a Dangerous Governor and Legislature

For the past two years, we faced numerous attacks on RGGI and the Clean Economy Act. Thankfully, the Virginia Senate remained strong in their promise to vote down direct repeals, rollbacks or reallocations of these two landmark climate policies. But fossil-fuel interests have gotten wiser, and are now looking to pick apart the Clean Economy Act piece by piece – as well as pushing for repeal of our policy to usher in electric vehicles in Virginia. 

We had our work cut out for us this session: from efforts to keep coal and gas plants alive and exempt industrial polluters from their fair share of the cost of building clean energy, to Dominion-sponsored efforts to scalp ratepayers and numerous attacks on Clean Car Standards.

Yet somehow, we actually PASSED two very good bills! 

Read the session recap: See how we won, what we beat, and what work we have left to do. 

CCAN Climate Defenders Action Teams: A Grassroots Powerhouse

To combat these attacks, CCAN Action Fund and our allies have recruited a team of climate defenders to protect Virginia’s incredible progress. With our team we share the latest on the General Assembly session and reach out to constituents of key legislators to encourage them to take a stand against climate regression.

Sign up to join our team!

There Are Many Ways YOU Can Take Action