Virginia Climate and Energy Facts:
The National Climate Assessment identified
sea level rise and extreme heat to be two of the most pressing climate impacts affecting the Southeast United States. Flooding troubles of Norfolk are a prime example. Norfolk has experienced a foot and a half of sea level rise during the last century.
According to the Yale Map Project on Climate Change Communication 64% of Virginia residents recognize that global warming is happening. While only 52% are worried about warming now, 61% think warming will harm future generations. As part of the Clean Power Plan, Virginia is working towards its goal of
reducing state emissions by 31.6% by 2030. And Virginia has set a target of deriving 15% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2025. As of 2014, there are
2,000 Virginians employed in the solar industry, across 180 companies. Between renewable energy and efficiency projects, Virginia’s 11,000 clean energy workers outnumber Virginians employed by coal-producing companies. Additionally, future renewable projects will likely grow that figure, with around 10,000 jobs created by Dominion’s new offshore wind project.
The Yale Map Project on Climate Change Communication also gauged Virginia’s support for regulating CO2 and funding renewable energy. The project revealed that 77% of Virginians support funding renewables research. It also found that fully 74% would support regulating CO2 as a pollutant, and an estimated 63% would support setting strict CO2 limits on existing coal-fired power plants.