Virginia

With a Democratic state government trifecta, Virginia has made progress on climate action in recent years.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Ralph Northam (D)

House: 55 (D) ǀ 45 (R) ǀ 1 (I)

Senate: 21 (D) ǀ 19 (R)

U.S. Climate Alliance Member

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2045:

Net Zero

2018 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Other
Source: EIA State Energy Data System (SEDS)

Use the + icons in each policy area below to explore climate policy that has been passed at the state level, with links to relevant legislation and trackers. Policies in gray have not yet been passed in this state.

Climate Governance & Equity

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Climate Governance

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

Net-zero by 2045

Mandate Source

Mandatory – Chapter 1192 – Virginia Energy Plan

Climate Action Plan

Climate Bureaucracy

Interagency Commissions/Task Forces

Non-Governmental Advisory Bodies

State Climate Portal

Virginia Climate Change Portal

Lead by Example

ACEEE Score – 1.5 out of 2 points**

**The ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard analyzes the policies and programs states adopt to save energy in public sector buildings and transportation fleets. States can earn up to 2 points.

Equity

Environmental Justice Community Designation

State EJ Mapping Tools

EJ Community Benefit Requirement

EJ Bureaucracy

Adaptation & Resilience

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Governance and Planning

Governance Structures

H 1836 (2021) – Designates the Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources as the Chief Resilience Officer

S 265 (2018) – Creates a new cabinet-level position (“Special Assistant”) to address coastal adaptation and protection in Virginia

Adaptation and Resilience Plans/Frameworks

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

VA H 1367 (2019)

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

Built/Hard Infrastructure

VA H 542 (2021)

Grid Resilience Measures

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

H 2187 (2021) – Flood Resiliency Clearinghouse Program

State Funding and Resources

H 22 (2021) – Establishes the Shoreline Resiliency Fund

SB 320 (2020) – Community Flood Preparedness Fund

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

100% for Phase II Utilities by 2045 | 100% for Phase I Utilities by 2050

Legislation

HB 1526; SB 851

Distributed Generation/Solar Carve-out

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Net Metering

SPOT Components – 6 out of 11*

Energy Storage Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Shared Renewables

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

Grid and Utility Reform

Grid Modernization Plan

The GridWise Alliance’s Grid Modernization Index (GMI) evaluates and ranks the status of grid modernization efforts across all 50 states and D.C.

50-state Ranking – 25th

Interconnection Standards

SPOT Components – 6 out of 6*

Utility Green Power Option

SPOT Components – 6 out of 6*

New Utility Business Model Proceeding

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Buildings & Efficiency

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Energy Codes and Standards

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 3 out of 6*

Stretch or Reach Codes

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

Efficiency Programs and Financing

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 2 out of 4**

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 6 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Market Mechanisms

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings Data Disclosure

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Implemented by 2024 (HB 1965)

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

Implemented by 2024 (HB 1965)

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle (MHDVs) Sales Standards

Incentives and Market Mechanisms

Electric Vehicle Incentives

SPOT Components – 3 out of 5*

Charging Infrastructure Incentives

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Agriculture

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Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture Governance

Financial Incentives

Technical Assistance & Education Programs

Food Waste Bans and Targets

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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HFC Regulation

Carbon Pollution Pricing

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated Nov. 2021