Join us for a Free Film Screening of the New Film ‘I Am Greta’

On December 4th, the Vermont Youth Lobby will be hosting a free virtual screening of the new documentary I AM GRETA. Participants who sign-up will be emailed a special link to an online viewing room where they can watch the film at their own pace between the hours of 5pm and 8pm.  The film is 90 minutes long.

Students affiliated with the Youth Lobby will then lead a series of small group dialogues from 8pm-9pm via Zoom, which will explore the film and consider the lessons we can take from Greta’s activism to help the youth movement in Vermont become more impactful in the coming months.  We will brainstorm as many amazing ideas for youth activism that we can think of and we could really use your help!

You can register up to 7pm Friday night, but the earlier your register the better…

You are welcome to sign-up for the movie screening, the community dialogue, or both.  And because our film screening is virtual and free, anyone from around the globe can attend! Invite your friends and family from far and wide!

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/i-am-greta-film-screening-and-dialogue-with-the-vermont-youth-lobby-tickets-130632598619

We hope to see you there!

The Passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act H.688!

Today the Global Warming Solutions Act was solidified into statute! The senate overrode Governor Scott’s veto 22-8.We want to sincerely thank every legislator who voted to override the veto and voted for the initial bill. We want to recognize all the work that has gone into this, and the effect that it will have in allowing this state to take more and better actions on the climate crisis. That said we must understand this bill in the context of the extreme crisis that we are in the process of realizing. We see as our siblings to the west burn and our siblings to the south are swept away in storms, and we understand that this is no time to be stagnant, this is no time to settle for small action when what we need is reform and revolution. The passage of this bill is monumental, but it is not enough.

This fight did not have to be so hard though, Governor Scott went out of his way to attempt to block this bill. His reasons were utterly baseless and unprecedented. He claimed it would create financial risk for the state, when it was written to ensure that monetary damages and financial penalties were not allowed. He claimed the legislature failed to work with him, when this bill is a compromise negotiated for the signature he refused to give. Most of all though, he claimed that he was serious about fighting climate change, when he vetoed the first piece of meaningful climate legislation to cross his desk. Governor Scott tried to block this bill from becoming law and in doing, so he indicated that he only cares about the youth of this state when it is convenient for him. He received this letter before he vetoed the bill and still chose to ignore us. Understand that you cannot be for youth if you are not here for our futures. Read it. Share it. Act on it.

 

Dear Governor Scott, 

 

We are the elusive youth of Vermont you claim to care about, We are the young people you regularly talk about attracting to Vermont and keeping here.

If you care the way you say you do about us and our futures and our presence here, you would commit to making our futures exist, you would understand our urgency, and you would side with us by signing H.688.

 

It is shameful to cower behind power and privilege, to close your eyes to the reality that our siblings are burning on the west coast due to the very issue you refuse to act on. By failing to act on this urgent crisis, you take away our chances for a better future, and condemn us to a world that will be uninhabitable for us. 

 

We should be doing our school work, not writing you letters to convince you what is clearly right. We should be learning about how leadership works, not giving you a lesson on it. We should be at home, and not on the state house lawn. We are risking our health to come out and tell you what you already know: that we deserve the future that this bill might provide and you are ripping that away from us. 

 

We always say that our house is on fire and you need to start acting like it. Well now our country is on fire, so why aren’t you acting like it? Why do you refuse to see the reality of our futures? Why do you refuse to do anything to change them? Why would you veto a bill that would help us? Why aren’t you ashamed?

 

Think about the next time you will wonder aloud why this state has a population that is so old. Think about the shame you will feel knowing that it is due to your poor decision-making. Think about how right now you have an opportunity to do better. Take it.

 

All we ask is that you do not veto this bill today, Because a veto to this bill is the denial of our experience, and an affront to our future. We are counting on you to make the right choice.

 

-Vermont Youth”

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q6AiAou9iVcVB_m9iMFPkpI4IsC_n2vV3dP_69mI7y4/edit

 

Students talk about what the GWSA means to them in front of Scott’s Press conference

Summer Youth Art Contest

Contest Details:
Children and teens from throughout Vermont are invited to submit original artwork responding to one of three prompts:
  • Show us your favorite place in Vermont (any season)
  • Show us your favorite outdoor activity (any season)
  • Show us what you want the future to look like
Submissions are considered for a chance to appear in our 2020 year-end brochure, which is sent to thousands of Vermonters who care about our natural environment. In addition to appearing in our brochure, winners and runners-up in each age category will receive a $50 or $25 gift certificate to a local bookstore, art supply store, or bakery of their choice! The deadline is August 30, 2020.
Read more at https://vnrc.org/artcontest/. Submissions can be made here. Contact Colin Keegan with any questions at ckeegan@vnrc.org.

Climate Press Conference Remarks by Gabe Groveman – January 10th

Hi, my name is Gabe Groveman, I’m a sophomore at Montpelier High School and a member of the Vermont Youth Lobby. I’d like to bring this all home with a few points on specific upcoming Climate Change legislation that the Youth Lobby would like to see passed. Now that the legislature is back in session, we have the ability to put our words into action and actually pass meaningful climate legislation in this state. Already, we have 5 different bills, each trying to do their part to help with the Global Climate Crisis we’re facing right now.

First, there’s the Global Warming Solutions Act – Bill H. 462, which aims to set Vermont on a path toward meeting our commitment to the Paris Climate Accord by 2025 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, by creating targets with a comprehensive process to achieve them. This bill would ensure that if these targets are not achieved, we have a way in which the people of Vermont can hold their legislators accountable and would hopefully keep our energy spending in state and put people to work in clean power jobs such as solar, advanced wood heat and electrification. Although these are all great things, and the Vermont Youth Lobby supports the work these legislators are doing to help draft legislation to combat Climate Change, we do have some concerns and suggestions to the bill that, as youth, we feel should be addressed. One is that according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change we need to act much faster than this bill suggests, for example, the Young Vermonters United Climate Declaration states 2032 as the goal for net-zero. We’d also suggest that we have goals set for every five years so that progress can continue on track and be checked and that the abrogation clause needs to mandate the creation of a new bill or measure to ensure that local and state officials are still held accountable once we enter into a multi-state deal OR the abrogation clause should be removed altogether. Youth Lobby would also like to address that there is no outlined power given to let the judicial system force legislators to take action, only the ability to force damages payment and that the Government Accountability committee needs to also have the responsibility to bring departments and legislators to court if goals are not being met or progress is slowing because of them.

Another bill that the Youth Lobby would like to see passed is Modernize Energy Efficient Utilities, which would shift Efficiency Vermont’s standard for success from energy reduction to greenhouse gas emissions reduction, Increase affordability of heating for homes and businesses by investing in weatherization, Bring new technology into the state to help modernize efficiency, like cold climate heat pumps, Increase collaboration between energy efficiency and distribution utilities, and Expand the availability of weatherization to reduce individual Vermonter’s system costs. We’d also like to suggest that we ensure that the data collected on results is made easily accessible and understandable to the Vermont public.

Another action around Climate, that the Youth Lobby would be on board with supporting, is Vermont participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI, which would try to reduce carbon pollution from transportation by investing in cleaner, more environmentally friendly, transportation options, like electric buses, hybrid and electric vehicles, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and affordable housing, as well as ensuring the protection of low-income Vermonters as we transition into a more efficient state. Like the other bills, we have some more concerns we feel need to be addressed. One concern is that cap and trade, and invest systems, could allow those who profit most from the climate crisis to buy their way out of accountability while leaving smaller businesses behind to suffer the consequences, and that the increased cost of fuel will not incentivize electric alternatives as much as penalize working-class Vermonters, which we should absolutely avoid doing. We’re also worried that Cap and trade, and invest systems, have been shown not to work as well when scaled past small populations and that if the purpose of TCI is to tax fossil fuel companies and use the money to invest in green solutions, there needs to be sound measures in place to protect the working people from the negative impact of raised gas prices. And once again we would also like to recognize that according to the IPCC, we’ll need to act much faster than what this bill proposes.

Another bill, 100% Renewables by 2030 – H. 316/S. 51 which is not currently proposed, (past bills were for 90% by 2050), would do a lot of good if passed this session. It would hope to get us to 100% renewable electricity for the state of Vermont by 2030, replacing inefficient fossil-fueled vehicles and heating with efficient electric options and keeping money spent on imported energy in state. This would be great as long as we make sure that it is changed to 100% renewable by 2030 and add conditions to ensure rapid expansion, roll out, and incentivisation of renewables does not come at the cost of our natural ecosystems and resources, like by bolstering and requiring environmental impact studies of all new projects, and prioritizing widespread low impact solutions before potentially damaging ones and taking wildlife and recreational land use into account with all new projects, as well.

Senator Pollina’s VT Green New Deal bill, which would create a tax that would take an extra $30 million annually from Vermont’s top 5% for 5 years and put it towards climate solutions including transportation, weatherizations, and EV incentives, would also be something we would like to get through this year.

 

These are all reasonable and comprehensive initiatives that, all together, could help pull Vermont in the right direction in the global effort to fight climate change. Yet, to become a reality these bills would have to be approved by, not only, a majority of the legislators in this building, but most likely by Governor Phil Scott as well. We sincerely hope that what’s been said today, and the continued presence of the Youth and other climate supporters will be enough to sway Governor Scott to do what is right, and support legislation that will help ensure a healthier future for Vermont and the world at large. Because, at this historical turning point of Climate activism, it would be a shame if Vermont, one of the most progressive and forward-thinking states in the country, would fall behind on arguably the most important issue of our times. So, in 2020, let’s show the world just how much we care about the Climate and our future, by supporting meaningful legislation that the legislature and the governor can, and hopefully will, actually pass. You can all start right now, by delivering the Young Vermonters’ United Climate Declaration to legislators around the State House.

Youth Lobby Testimony to House Transportation Committee – January 10th

Testimony by Hope Petraro & Lili Platt

Organizers, Vermont Youth Lobby

1/10/2019

 

 

Thank you, committee members, for the opportunity to meet with you today. My name is Hope Petraro, and I am a senior at Montpelier High School and a member of the Youth Lobby. Some of you might recognize me not just because I’m frequently in the building because of my advocacy and activism, but because I’ve interned with Mollie Burke for the past two years, a person who I am truly grateful to have had the ability to work with. 

 

Thank you for your time today. My name is Lili Platt and I’m a senior at Harwood Union High School and an officer of the Vermont Youth Lobby, a statewide, student-led organization that fights for climate action and justice. As you know, we are facing an unprecedented global emergency. Just thinking about the magnitude of the climate crisis can be so terrifying that it paralyzes people. But the science is clear, and it is becoming clearer every day that we must do something–and fast. To us, climate change is not a political issue; it is an existential threat—the effects of which we have only begun to feel. I am angry that those least responsible for climate change are predicted to suffer the most from it. Regardless of what we like to think about Vermonter being a green state, the facts say otherwise. Vermont is not doing its part to address this crisis. Since 1990, Vermont’s carbon emissions have risen by 16%, while climate pollution in all of our neighboring states has fallen. As overseers of Vermont’s transportation policy, you have a unique opportunity and responsibility to act for serious climate action this session.

 

We appreciate your past commitments to reduce emissions and to fight climate change. In 2017, many members of this committee voted in favor of H.R.15, a resolution that opposed the announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and supported Vermont’s enrollment in the U.S. Climate Alliance. H.R. 15 opposed a world in which the United States — instead of using its power and wealth to serve as a role model on climate action — reneged on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26–28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and its commitment to contribute $3 billion to climate change assistance to developing nations by 2020. 

 

Combating climate change — something scientists have called the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century” *PAUSE* is not limited to one resolution. And the word resolution has two meanings: it isn’t just an agreement passed by a legislative body — it’s a firm decision to ACT. Supporting emissions reduction takes an active effort, but with our current policies and regulations, Vermont is not on track to meet its own emissions reduction goals. We’ve committed to 90% renewable energy by 2050, but as of 2015, only 16% of Vermont’s total energy consumption was powered by renewables.  

 

We’re here today to share and ask you to support the Young Vermonters’ United Climate Declaration.

  • We passed the Vermont Youth Climate Declaration in November, during the first-ever Youth Climate Congress. We held this special session to bring attention to the fact that the State is not doing enough to address climate change. 
  • 170 students from every district in the state gathered in the House chamber to draft and pass climate “legislation.”
  • There were students from big schools like CVU and UVM. There were students from rural schools like Barton Academy and Glover Elementary. There were students who traveled from Brattleboro High School and Burr & Burton. Some of us walked from Montpelier High School. The youngest delegates came from the Marion Cross School in Norwich, while the oldest attend Vermont Law School.
  • We were joined by the LG, 5 senators, and 22 representatives.
  • Representative Becca White provided an inspirational keynote address from the State House steps, THANK YOU.

 

Some of the Declaration is broad, including our request that the Vermont State House:

  • declare a climate emergency;
  • turn VT’s non-binding greenhouse gas goals into requirements;
  • and put us on track to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2032.

 

Some of the Declaration is specific to transportation, including our recommendations for the following:

    • Accelerate the deployment of freely available, low-carbon public transportation such as buses, trains, pedestrian connectivity and biking infrastructure;
    • Join our regional neighbors in programs like the Transportation Climate Initiative; and
    • Create a 10-year timeline for ending the sale of passenger vehicles powered by fossil fuels and for implementing extensive public transportation infrastructure.

The largest segment of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from the transportation sector, and at a figure that consistently hovers around 45%, that represents nearly HALF of all emissions. As legislators on the House Transportation Committee, your actions are critical, and it is critical that you prioritize climate change. In moving away from fossil-fueled transportation, Vermont can develop an equitable program to generate revenue that can help all Vermonters invest in and make use of cleaner transportation alternatives.

 

There is growing popular support for climate action — according to a very recent poll, more than three-quarters of Vermonters support Vermont’s joining of the Transportation & Climate Initiative, *PAUSE* and more than three-quarters of Vermonters support requiring the state to hit its climate targets. *PAUSE* By moving away from fossil-fueled transportation, Vermonters can reduce carbon pollution and can save money at the same time. Studies have shown that in our most rural counties in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, the average driver can save $870 per year and cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3 metric tons per year by choosing an electric vehicle over a conventional sedan.  Shifting transportation away from single-occupancy vehicles towards low-carbon alternatives like buses, trains, biking, and walking not only helps us meet our emissions reductions goals, but can literally change lives. Expanded public transportation infrastructure would greatly lessen the burdens that transportation often poses to low-income and rural Vermonters, especially those living in fuel poverty. A lack of available commuting options prevents low-income people from leaving their towns and accessing the jobs, resources, and enrichment they need to improve their lives. 

Yes, last year’s budget did include funding for electric vehicle incentives, and I am thankful for those on this committee who advocated for electric vehicle incentivization during negotiations. Yet, last year’s funding has been called a  “modest but positive step forward”. We are indeed moving in the right direction, but our progress has been modest — and unfortunately, incremental action doesn’t align with ambitious goals. Incremental action isn’t enough to meet our state’s commitments to affordability and efficiency, and incremental action isn’t enough when it comes to fighting the climate crisis. During the 2020 legislative session, Vermont must continue to work towards electric vehicle incentivization and do so with AMBITION AND COMMITMENT if we are to meet our goal of 50,000 plug-in electric vehicles registered in Vermont by 2025.  

Yes, these are ambitious goals, but ambition and drive are nothing less than necessary if we are ever to meet our commitment to the global and statewide agreements we have agreed to. Taken together, these recommendations can put us back on track to meet the climate commitments that Democratic and Republican governors and lawmakers alike have made to our generation: our commitment to 90% renewable energy by 2050. Again, we must do our part. And more importantly, as legislators in Vermont, YOU must lead the way and prove to other states that we can make this transition away from fossil fuels and toward a more prosperous, more equitable, and brighter future.

Last night — instead of studying for the French test I have later today, or doing my homework for AP Economics — I was up late finishing this testimony, carefully writing it in the hopes that it will be good enough: that it will match the caliber of the testimonies and speeches you might be used to hearing, from professionals who are paid to do this every day, who don’t spend their hours at school instead — in the hopes that my words, my testimony, is good enough to make enough of a difference. So that it is something you will carry with you throughout the session this year, as you make decisions, set priorities, and negotiate with opposition. Lili and I, and many others our age, throughout the years, have skipped school and skipped out on sleep so that, in addition to all that we do — whether it’s soccer, or working, or high school — we can do our part in advocating for efficiency, affordability, leadership and initiative, and social justice. A commitment to serving others is a principle that guides your lives as legislators, and it is a principle that guides mine as well. 

For many young people today, climate anxiety has steeped itself into the back of our minds. Those who prioritize climate change understand it is a crisis — understand that climate change is already affecting us and is a growing obstacle to ensuring every person in every community has the ability to live with stable weather patterns; to swim in and drink from clean, safe water; to breathe unpolluted air; to live free from forced migration; to have access to food; and to live unencumbered by civil conflict and disease. We understand that the world has already warmed by about 1 degree Celsius and without a global coordinated effort — one that we as Vermonters and Americans must be apart of — the world will reach 1.5 degrees in as little as 12 years. We understand that “several hundred million” lives are at stake, according to the IPCC. We understand that the actions that are required to ensure a just transition to a fossil-fuel-free world have a significant overlap with the actions that would be needed to reduce global poverty. We understand that if we don’t act, literal science states that “Whole parts of the globe will become too hot for human habitation and those left behind will die of heat. Diseases will increase and mutate. Food shortages will become chronic as we fail to move agriculture from one climate to another. Whole countries like Bangladesh and parts of other countries, such as Miami, Florida, will be underwater. Shortages of freshwater will affect humans and agriculture. The oceans will die, the air will get dirtier.” Social, economic, and political chaos will ensue as refugees flee areas that can no longer sustain them.  

 

Although you and I can enjoy spending time with family, reading a book, going out for a bite to eat or for a run outside, and can afford to live and work relatively comfortably, there are people in the world who are being affected by climate change already — who do not have the privilege of living and working relatively unperturbed by the effects of climate change.

 

We have two asks of you today. 

    • The first is to do all you can to reduce carbon pollution. As overseers of Vermont’s transportation policy, you have a unique opportunity and responsibility to act. As you know the bulk of Vermont’s greenhouse gas pollution comes from transportation. I’m sure you saw the most recent greenhouse gas inventory report: 45% of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cars and trucks. So the bulk of greenhouse gas reductions have to come from transportation. We understand that there are a number of bills under consideration and in process. You should enact all of them. No one bill is going to solve this crisis. You should pursue as many strategies as possible.
    • Our second request is that you hang this Declaration in this room for the remainder of the legislative biennium to remind yourselves daily of what young Vermonters want. We want a cleaner, healthier, more vibrant Vermont – and every day that we continue to spew climate pollution into the air robs us of that future.

 

At its most basic level, Youth Lobby is asking for policymakers to ensure that as a state we are doing our part to reduce GHG emissions to a level that is consistent with a livable planet. We simply want the state of Vermont to abide by the obligations we made to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Accords and to listen to the IPCC and the urgent and most current science. It is imperative that we act soon to prioritize combating climate change and make the switch to clean energy, infrastructure, and livelihood. Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. We’re happy to answer any questions if necessary. 

An Introduction to Climate Legislation in Vermont

An Introduction to Climate Legislation in Vermont

By Sophia Jerome, Montpelier High School 2023

 

“It’s inspiring yet frustrating that young people have to spend their days instead of hanging out with their friends or going to school or going skiing or spending time with their families… at the State House asking people to take this urgent issue, [climate change], as seriously as it is warranted,” says Johanna (Joey) Miller, Energy and Climate Program Director at VNRC.

With all of the chaos caused by the novel coronavirus, it has become easy to forget that our previous struggles are still relevant and important to recognize.. Climate change is one of those.

 

Vermont legislators agree that youth voice plays a large role in the progression of climate legislation, and because of that, it is crucial that concerned students are informed about what is happening at the State House related to climate change. 

 

At the moment, there are four main bills circulating in the State House that are important to know about. Below is a brief introduction to each bill.

 

Expanding Vermont’s Efficiency Utilities:

 

Modernize Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utilities (S.337) is a bill that focuses on allowing electric efficiency utilities — Burlington Electric Department and Efficiency Vermont — to focus their work more on increasing the usage of clean energy methods while also reducing electricity use. The bill maintains the same funding for the programs while transitioning to more clean and affordable fossil fuel alternatives. 

 

“From an immediate standpoint, the Efficiency Modernization bill is going to save people money right off the bat. It’s taking dollars that are already being raised and putting them towards uses that have an even greater reduction in climate pollution, and in many cases even greater immediate economic savings,” says Ben Walsh, Climate and Energy Program Director at VPIRG.

 

This bill will make alternative methods of heating more affordable for Vermont businesses and families and invest in clean energy solutions that are proven effective. Currently, this bill wields a small goal and many wish it were larger, however, it is still seen as a step in the right direction.

 

Global Warming Solutions; Turning Goals Into Requirements:

 

The Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688) sets the framework for all other main climate bills by measuring the advancement of each bill, while also demanding progression.

This bill allows Vermonters to essentially sue the state government through court action only when a certain climate goal is not reached. 

 

The bill’s ultimate goal is to make Vermont net zero by the year 2050, which in essence would mean no carbon emissions in the state of Vermont, compared to the 2012 recorded levels of 13 metric tons of carbon per capita.

 

Lauren Hierl, Executive Director at the Vermont Conservation Voters, says, “[The Global Warming Solutions Act] would benefit the environment because it would require that the state put in place programs [and] plans that drive down climate pollution… It doesn’t set out exactly what those things would be but… we know if we’re driving fewer gas-powered cars, for example, that that’s good for climate change.” 

 

Transportation and Climate Initiative; Getting on Board With the Northeast:

 

The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a policy proposal that would limit the number of carbon emissions contributed by vehicles using transportation fuels (such as gas and diesel) and enforce more renewable practices. The proposal is a collaboration of twelve Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states and the District of Columbia. 

 

It is important to note that since 1990, neighboring states (New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire) have all decreased their carbon emissions between 6% and 21%, while Vermont has increased our emissions by 13%.

 

 

Using a cap and invest method, the proposal would determine a strict limit on transportation carbon emissions, which slowly decreases over time. Transportation fuel suppliers (i.e. gas stations and fuel companies) are required to attain auctioned allowances for every ton of carbon pollution that is produced by the fuel they sell. If a certain fuel company does not obtain the number of allowances it requires to stay in steady business, it could result in an increase of four to nine cents per gallon for consumers. 

 

The revenue collected from the auction goes to the state to be invested into more sustainable modes of transportation. In Vermont, the money would most likely be focused toward rural and low-income families that have a smaller range of transportation options. There has not yet been legislation introduced in Vermont for this proposal. 

 

100% Renewable by 2030:

 

The 100% Renewable bill (S.267) would implement a statewide 100% renewable energy standard by 2030, in comparison to the current requirement, 10% by 2032. The bill has a primary goal of eliminating the usage of fossil fuels (such as coal, heating oil, propane, and gasoline) in the state of Vermont and replacing them with clean energy-powered alternatives.

 

100% Renewable also urges to increase the availability of clean energy for Vermonters, to create more environmentally efficient communities. The bill’s final goal is to create more local jobs and increase regional entrepreneurship to keep more money within Vermont’s local economy. 

 

Climate-Focused Writing Contest – Win $1000

Create a Climate Vision
Sustainable Montpelier Coalition

Invites you to

A Competition for Creative Writers and Artists

“Hard times are coming…We will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to
how we live now. What if we could see through our fear-stricken society to other ways of being
and imagine some real grounds for hope?” Ursula K. Le Guin

On a ____day in the year 2047, George and Gina looked out their bedroom window and
saw….”
Or……..

Writers, help us create a new kind of story!

The Sustainable Montpelier Coalition is inviting writers and graphic artists of all ages to imagine
what central Vermont will be like in the year 2047. This world won’t be darkly dystopian: rather,
it will describe innovative solutions, for how the people of this region are dealing with the
growing effects of climate change. What if a 12-foot snowstorm has cut off power and
transportation? How will we be recovering from a massive drought or a terrible flood? What are
neighbors doing for neighbors?

Prize: Winning entrants will take home $1000.

Prizes will be awarded at the One World Festival
of Arts and Innovation, on the State House Lawn, July 25th 2020.

Challenge: Through the written word and graphic narrative, you can help change the future.
Your creative idea can serve as a model for Montpelier and surrounding towns.
Your inspiring fiction, considered essay or imaginative graphical story will focus on one day in
the future in a climate-changed Central Vermont. You will take the reader through time to a
certain day (of your choosing) in 2047. With brevity and clarity, you’ll imagine what that day
looks and feels like. You’ll offer a visions of innovations or responses that might have emerged
between now and then. These imagined solutions will be both plausible and useful to everyone
here in central Vermont.
We hope your ideas can inspire the whole community.
Judging: $1,000 prizes will go to the winners in each of five categories of submissions. All
entries will be professionally juried to produce the finalists. Finalists will be chosen by a twelve
judge panel (TBA) and the winners of each prize will be selected by an online public vote.

Without a vision, the people will perish. ~Proverbs 29:18~

Submission Categories:
Short Story: up to 2,500 words.
Essay: up to 1,000 words.
Graphic Story: up to five pages.

Five $1,000 prizes will be awarded. For short story and essay— Adult Writers (21 years of age
and over), the other for Youth (under 21)— for a total of four writer winners. The graphic story
category, eligible to artists of any age, will have one prize winner.

Guidelines:

Up to 20 points can be earned in each of the competencies. Winning Entries will:
1. Exhibit the highest quality work in the chosen genre.
2. Demonstrate the ability to think about the future of Central Vermont in an innovative
way.
3. Describe a compelling vision that serves as a focal point for community cohesion and
future action.
4. Motivate the reader to take positive actions toward confronting and adapting to and or
reducing the severity of climate change. Writers will imagine the broad range of potential
disruptive impacts of climate change.
5. Help the reader imagine a future in which many feel at home, in spite of a narrative
where today’s assumptions about everyday life are turned on their heads.

This competition’s subject frame is the greater Montpelier Vermont area and will assume a
firsthand knowledge of the local layout and culture.

Timeline:
Launch date: March 31, 2020
Sustainable Montpelier Coalition launches the competition with author and climate
change activist Bill McKibben at public event in the Montpelier High School Library.
Deadline for Submission: May 25, 2020
Announcement of finalists and public voting
Announcement of Winners: July 25, 2020

Visit our website for more information at: www.sustainablemontpelier.org

The moment we start imagining a new world and sharing it with one another through story is

the moment that new world may actually come.

Brit Marling

Climate Writing Competition Co-Directors
Elizabeth Courtney & Dan Jones
Climate Writing Competition Jurors and Advisors
Rita Banerjee
Simeon Chapin
Barbara Conrey
Rickie Gard Diamond
David Dobbs
Bronwyn Fryer
Joy Gambill
Paul Gambill
Gregg Gossens
Nancy Graff
Robbie Harold
Pat Hinkley
Don Hooper
Ed Koren
Ellen Lovell
Catherine Lowther
Stephen Macarthur
Bill McKibben
Kerrin McCadden
Tino O’Brien
Katie Rasmussen
Susan Ritz
Gus Speth
David Schutes
Amy Seidl
Tom Slayton

CANCELLED – 5th Annual Rally for the Planet!

UNFORTUNATELY, THE 2020 YOUTH RALLY HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE THREAT CAUSED BY THE CORONA VIRUS.


Save the date and plan your field trips!

After five years of outstanding youth advocacy, there are now several climate-related bills working their way through the Statehouse.  If you want Vermont to become a leader in climate action, this is THE year to rally.  Please join us as we, once again, Rally for the Planet!  More information coming soon…