The purpose of the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s Carbon Reduction Program is to reduce transportation emissions through the development of statewide carbon reduction strategies and by funding projects designed to reduce emissions. States are required to develop Carbon Reduction Strategies (CRS) and submit them to the Federal Highway Administration for approval by November 15, 2023. VTrans has contracted with Cambridge Systematics, Inc. to draft Vermont's Carbon Reduction Strategy, which you can read in its entirety and learn more about the process of developing it below.
The development of Vermont's Carbon Reduction Strategy consisted of two phases:
Phase 1: Estimate GHG emissions and reductions associated with VTrans’ Capital Program
- Develop a methodology to confidently estimate the effect on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the investments in the Agency of Transportation Capital Program such that the AOT can, in coordination with the Agency of Natural Resources Climate Office, track and report progress towards achieving the State’s greenhouse reduction goals.
Phase 2: Develop Carbon Reduction Strategy
- Assess potential future policy, program, and funding options to cost-effectively reduce GHG emissions from Vermont’s transportation sector.
- Engage stakeholders and the public.
- Develop an investment strategy to reduce transportation emissions consistent with the Federal Carbon Reduction Program Guidance and the State’s Global Warming Solutions Act requirements.
Public, Stakeholder and Committee Engagement
An Advisory Committee was convened to guide the public outreach and strategy development, and a Technical Committee was convened to guide the technical analysis. The project team also sought input on policy, program, and funding options and the investment strategy.
Outreach included virtual public meetings as well as a series of focus groups with specific stakeholders, including business, freight, environmental, community, and equity-focused interests. The public and stakeholder outreach for the project was conducted in two phases. The first phase, held in spring 2023, focused on policy and programmatic strategies for GHG emissions reduction as the scenarios were developed. Once this analysis was conducted and a draft Investment Strategy was prepared, the public was engaged through a second round of meetings.
- The first round of public outreach, including focus groups with stakeholders and two virtual public meetings, was completed in March/April.
- The project team has evaluated the gap between projected transportation GHG emissions and the state’s GHG reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.
- The project team has developed and modeled scenarios of strategies (programmatic investments and policies) to close the gap.
- Initial findings and a draft Carbon Reduction Strategy will be provided for a second round of public and stakeholder feedback, anticipated for July.
- The second round of public outreach, including stakeholder focus groups, two virtual public meetings, and an online survey (which garnered over 600 responses), concluded at the end of the first week of August.
- The Recommendations were drafted and can be viewed within the August public meeting presentation.
- Following the conclusion of the second phase of public outreach, the team is developing the Carbon Reduction Strategy.
- A draft Carbon Reduction Strategy was provided to the Technical and Advisory Committees for review during September.
- The Vermont Carbon Reduction Strategy was finalized and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
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