Governor Youngkin wants to undo our climate progress and take Virginia backwards. We understand that the Air Pollution Control Board this summer plans to declare an emergency administrative repeal and withdraw Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, also known as RGGI. This would be an unlawful action. You can’t overturn a law by administrative repeal.
RGGI is an important and successful, bipartisan, multi-state program that cuts planet-warming emissions from power plants and generates funding to adapt to the climate impacts that are already hitting our communities. Since our state joined RGGI last year, the program has generated over $300 million to help communities with flood preparedness and low income Virginians with energy efficiency.
FACS is asking individuals and faith communities to participate in a photo petition asking Governor Youngkin to stop his unlawful actions to pull Virginia out of the successful, bipartisan Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. We are asking him to take more serious climate action, given the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis.
Climate change is the urgent moral challenge of our time. FACS recognizes that the data compiled by international and national scientific organizations demonstrates that climate change is real, and we are causing it. These reports also point to things that we can do to reverse the crisis. As dire as the reports may sound, we can take tangible steps to minimize devastation the inevitable climate impacts will bring. Our faith traditions encourage us to love our neighbors and care for the environment. The time to act is now.
After the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 report was released earlier in August, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that it was “a code red for humanity.” We’re grateful for Virginia’s commitment to help solve the climate crisis. We need a “Code Red” response. The last thing we should be doing now is pulling out of the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative!