© Bruce McNitt/Panoramic Images (Virginia)

Climate Change in Virginia

In late December 2007, Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine issued Executive Order 59 which established the Virginia Commission on Climate Change.  Recognizing that “climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing us with regard to our use of energy”, Gov. Kaine convened this Commission to help to fulfill one recommendation of the Virginia Energy Plan: to return Virginia greenhouse gas emissions to year-2000 levels, a 30% reduction from current, by 2025. 

Just one year after this Executive Order to create the Commission on Climate Change, the Commission released the Virginia Climate Change Action Plan.   The Climate Change Action Plan provides a research-backed synopsis of the challenges Virginians face with regard to greenhouse gas emissions.  Furthermore, the Plan provides suggestions and guidance for reducing and adapting to the effects of increased greenhouse gases in Virginia.  

Virginia’s progress in carrying out the Climate Change Action Plan can be followed via the Virginia Climate Initiative, “a coalition of Virginia citizens, businesses, and organizations working to protect our natural heritage and way of life.  The VCI “recognizes that human activities are changing the Earth's climate in a way that threatens our natural heritage, our economy, and our quality of life” and represents a collective belief that “prompt, responsible action from our national leaders is required to effectively address the threats of climate change.” 

More on Climate Change in Virginia

On July 1, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued Executive Order 19 creating the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission.  The Commission is charged with conducting an assessment of the recommendations from the 2008 Climate Change Action Plan. Specifically, the Commission will determine which recommendations from the original report were implemented; update and prioritize the recommendations; and, identify sources of funding to support the implementation of the recommendations.  The Commission is to submit a report with its updated recommendations by June 30, 2015.

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