.…but Krowinski also insists on staying the course with emissions reduction
by Guy Page
House Speaker Jill Krowinski last month urged Vermont Climate Council head and Administration Secretary Kristin Clouser to “focus on climate adaptation and resiliency.”
Krowinski’s August 25 letter was written in awareness of the staggering damages created by this summer’s flooding. Krowinski acknowledged that to date the VCC has focused on emissions reduction. But her letter does not suggest moving from emissions reduction to adaptation, as many critics of the Vermont Climate Council have urged.
Instead, Krowinski wants the Climate Council to do both. Regarding emissions reduction, Vermont “must continue that work, but I believe we must also quickly home in on” adaptation/resiliency measures including:
- VCC recommendations for legislation giving municipalities adaptation/resiliency tools
- Helping communities decide what categories of properties should – and shouldn’t – benefit from tax dollars.
- Prioritizing statewide adaptation policies
- Recommendations for added staff, if any
At a press conference today, Gov. Phil Scott said the Climate Council has been working on some of the recommendations.
State college closure? – Scott was asked if financial shortfalls will lead to closing one of the state’s state college campuses. That decision is up to the state college leadership, he said.
“There’s a way to do this that they may not have to close one of their campuses,” he added. Better use of existing facilities could be a path forward, he said.
Stay the course on growing drug/homelessness problem: “Amplify” existing programs – Asked by VDC about statewide response to growing incidence of homelessness and drug overdoses, Scott said Vermont must “amplify” existing programs with more money and more trained people – both in short supply.
The drug addiction problem needs more prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement.
‘We need more resources and more time we don’t have,” Scott said. “People. We’re in short supply of people.”
Vermont’s drug treatment program was working until “fentanyl changed the game,” Scott said. “We saw success. It’s the right approach.”