Fighting Climate Change & Achieving Environmental Justice - Terry McAuliffe


Fighting Climate Change & Achieving Environmental Justice

Climate change presents a tremendous threat to our communities, health and economic well-being. Virginia, until recently, has failed to adopt progressive policies to protect our environment and mitigate the effects of climate change because of the former Republican-controlled legislature. For too long, low-income and Black and Brown communities have paid the price and been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and environmental contaminants and pollutants. 

Terry believes all Virginians deserve to live in a safe environment, and one that is free from environmental contaminants and hazards. They also deserve equitable access to clean energy technologies that will power our futures.

As Virginia’s next Governor, Terry will champion bold and progressive initiatives that will protect our environment, allow Virginia to achieve its 100% Clean Energy Standard, decarbonize the transportation sector and lift up historically disadvantaged communities that have been impacted the most.

During his administration, Terry made key strides in protecting Virginia’s natural resources and investing in our clean energy future, including joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and committing to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement, creating the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice, appointing the first Chief Resilience Officer and taking executive actions that allowed Virginia to be the first southern state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Terry also vastly expanded Virginia’s off-shore wind and solar energy production, and access to electric vehicles and charging stations.

His administration secured two historic settlements addressing environmental issues, including a $94 million settlement from Volkswagen related to an emissions scandal, and a $50 million settlement from Dupont related to mercury spills in the 1930s and 40s. Both settlements were used to address long-standing environmental challenges and invest in clean energy and environmental projects. 

Terry’s administration also secured over $120 million in federal grants to fund the Ohio Creek Watershed project in Norfolk, which will mitigate flooding in two predominantly Black communities.

Read Terry’s full plan to fight climate change and build Virginia’s green energy future.

Download the Climate Plan one-pager.

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