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First in the US, oil companies now legally required to pay for Climate Change damage in Vermont

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on ABC News or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Vermont is the first state to pass a law requiring fossil fuel companies to pay for climate change damages, following severe summer flooding and other extreme weather events

🔭 The context: Republican Gov. Phil Scott allowed the bill to become law without signing it, expressing concerns over costs and legal battles but recognizing the need for climate action
• The law mandates a report by January 2026 to assess the financial impact of greenhouse gas emissions from 1995 to 2024 on Vermont

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The legislation adopts a polluter-pays approach, potentially influencing similar measures in other states and holding fossil fuel companies accountable for environmental damages, which could shift the financial burden away from taxpayers

⏭️ What's next: Vermont anticipates legal challenges from the oil industry, but lawmakers believe they have a strong case
• The state's actions could set a precedent for future environmental accountability laws

💬 One quote: “Finally, maybe for the first time anywhere, Vermont is going to hold the companies most responsible for climate-driven floods, fires and heat waves financially accountable for a fair share of the damages they’ve caused” (Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group)

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