February 10, 2020   | For Immediate Release: 

Contact: Evan Carlson,, (202) 558-8342 



Virginia Municipalities, Businesses, Higher Education Institutions, and Medical Professionals Urge General Assembly to Lead On U.S. Climate Action  

Washington, D.C. – Today, leaders from communities across Virginia submitted an open letter to the Virginia Assembly urging lawmakers to take the lead in addressing the climate crisis. The letter outlines the significant and immediate risks to public health, the livelihood of Virginians, and the economic stability of its communities. Additionally, it calls for policies that accelerate Virginia’s transition to a low-carbon, clean energy economy. 

In the letter, the signatories call on lawmakers to support: 

  • The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) 

  • Clean energy standards 

  • Greater customer access to clean energy 

  • Policies and programs that reduce transportation-related emissions 

In joining RGGI, the Commonwealth would join a highly effective program and takes an important step in mitigating carbon emissions from the electricity sector. Since RGGI launched in 2008, the program has helped participating states outperform the rest on of the country in several key areas including a 47% reduction of harmful CO2 emissions from power plants, a 5.8% decrease in electricity rates, and a 47% increase in GDP in RGGI states compared to 31% in the rest of the country. Between 2009 and 2014 alone, RGGI generated an estimated $5.7 billion in health benefits in participating and neighboring states like Virginia.1   

These Virginia leaders also call for policies incentivizing a swift transition to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar as well as stronger energy efficiency standards. Meanwhile, as transportation now represents the largest source of the Commonwealth’s carbon footprint, the leaders called for policies and programs that reduce transportation-related emissions.  

The letter is delivered at a time when leaders in the Virginia General Assembly are considering relevant legislation to address the climate crisis, including instituting mandatory energy efficiency and renewable energy standards, the Virginia Clean Economy Act, joining RGGI and more.  

Find the full text of the letter HERE

Signatories of the letter: 

Albemarle County 

Mayor Stoney, City of Richmond 

Sight Casting LLC 

Charlottesville Climate Collaborative 

Novanex, Inc. 

Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC 

City of Charlottesville 

Nutriati, Inc. 

The Stella Group, Ltd. 

Energy Shrink, LLC 

Piedmont Group of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club 

Town of Blacksburg 

George Mason University 

Randolph College 

Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action 

Massanutten Resort 

Rivanna Natural Designs, Inc. 

Virginia Wesleyan University 



About We Are Still In 

Since We Are Still In launched in 2017, more than 3,800 leaders from America’s city halls, state houses, boardrooms, and college campuses have stepped forward to declare their support for the global solution to climate change. Spanning all 50 states — red and blue — they are demonstrating America’s enduring commitment to tackling climate change, ensuring a clean energy future, and upholding the Paris Agreement.