|MCLEAN, VA – In recognition of Earth Day, Terry McAuliffe today reaffirmed his commitment and bold vision to aggressively combat the devastating effects of climate change impacting Virginians, and called out Virginia Republicans for their years of dangerously ignoring climate change as a critical threat to Virginia’s future. While Terry has released a bold plan to secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035, Republicans in Virginia continue to ignore the critical threat posed by climate change: not a single Republican member of Virginia’s Congressional delegation has pledged to support President Biden’s infrastructure efforts to address climate change, and every Republican candidate for governor either continues to deny climate science, has actively worked against efforts to combat climate change or has failed to take any proactive action — putting Virginia communities at risk.
Plan to Fight Climate Change and Build Virginia’s Clean Energy Future seeks to make Virginia a national leader in the fight against climate change, something Republicans have failed to do for decades.
“Climate change poses an imminent threat to Virginians from our coastal communities to urban centers and beyond, yet Republicans continue to deny its impact, putting Virginians’ lives, futures, and our very economy at risk,” said Terry McAuliffe. “Virginia’s next Governor must trust scientists and believe in climate change, and fully commit to aggressively tackling this crisis head on. My plan will build on the progress Virginia Democrats have made over the past eight years, while propelling us forward. We will build resilient communities and accelerate Virginia’s path to 100% clean energy by 2035. It is the only option to secure our future.”
As Virginia’s next governor, Terry will focus on building resilient communities and partner with President Biden to make substantial investments in clean energy infrastructure. His plan will ensure a just transition to clean energy that will protect consumers, lower utility bills, and break down environmental inequities that have disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities. Terry will take steps to promote clean air in the Commonwealth by decarbonizing the transportation sector through the transition to electric vehicles and public transit while ensuring equitable distribution of EV infrastructure. Additionally, he will protect against sea-level rise by securing a full coastal study through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, investing in sea-level rise solutions and revitalizing aquatic ecosystems.
In 2013, Terry defeated extreme Republican climate-denier Ken Cuccinelli and went on to champion efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment, including:
- Fighting for climate action against a Republican legislature that refused to acknowledge the existence of climate change and actively prevented progress in this area
- Joining the U.S. Climate Alliance after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement
- Appointing the state’s first Chief Resilience Officer and creating the Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission
- Securing a $120 million HUD grant to mitigate flooding in two predominantly Black neighborhoods in Virginia
- Taking executive actions that allowed Virginia to be the first southern state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
- Created the VirginiaSAVES program to help businesses reduce energy consumption and support alternative fuel projects
- Increasing solar generation by nearly 8,000% during his term
- Growing the number of jobs in the solar industry by 65% in 2016
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters awarded Terry with the ‘Virginia Conservation Legacy Award’ for his efforts.