Virginia

With a newly-elected Republican governor and a divided legislature, Virginia faces challenges passing climate policy, despite making progress on climate action in recent years.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Glenn Youngkin (R)

House: Republican majority

Senate: Democratic majority

Key Resources

Virginia State Energy Profile — U.S. EIA
Virginia Climate Change Portal – Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Virginia Legal Profile — Lawyers for Good Government
Virginia Energy Policy Simulator — Energy Innovation and RMI
Virginia EJ Mapping Tool — Mapping for Environmental Justice

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2045:

Net Zero

2019 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
Source: EPA State Inventory Tool (SIT)

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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+ Policies

Climate Governance

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

Net-zero by 2045

Mandate Source

Mandatory – Chapter 1192 – Virginia Energy Plan (2020)

Climate Action Plan

Climate Bureaucracy

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

2018 GHG Emissions Inventory (November 2021)

Mandate Source

SB 1282 (2021)

Green Bank

Lead by Example

ACEEE Score – 1.5 out of 2 points**

Public Fleet ZEV Requirements

Equity

Environmental Justice Community Designation

State EJ Mapping Tools

EJ Community Benefit Requirement

EJ Bureaucracy

**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.

Adaptation & Resilience

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Governance and Planning

Governance Structures

Office Designation

HB 517 (2022) – Governor appoints the Chief Resilience Officer. Updates HB 1836 (2021), which designated 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

Task Force/Advisory Group

SB 551/HB 516 (2022) – Establishes a Virginia Coastal Resilience Technical Advisory Committee

Cabinet Commissions and Committees

Adaptation and Resilience Plans

Action Plans

Virginia Coastal Adaptation & Resilience Master Plan (2021)

SB 551/HB 516 (2022) – Requires the development of a Virginia Flood Protection Master Plan & that the Coastal Resilience Plan be updated by Dec. 31, 2022 and every 5 years after

Assessments

Virginia Coastal Resilience Map

Frameworks

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

Built/Hard Infrastructure

Grid Resilience Measures

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

H 2187 (2021) – Flood Resiliency Clearinghouse Program

State Funding

Development Funding

SB 756 (2022) – Creates the Resilient Virginia Revolving Fund

H 22 (2021) – Establishes the Shoreline Resiliency Fund

Coastal Zone Management Program

Disaster Relief Funding

SB 320 (2020) – Community Flood Preparedness Fund

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

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

Legislation

HB 1526; SB 851 (2020)

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

Clean Energy Plan

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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Building Energy Codes

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

Statewide code – 2018 IECC

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 3 out of 6*

Statewide code – 2018 IECC

Stretch or Reach Codes

*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.

Efficiency Programs and Incentives

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 2 out of 4*

Energy Auditing Programs

Retrocommissioning Programs

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 6 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Standards and Market Mechanisms

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings Data Disclosure

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards and Incentives

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

Virginia LEV Standards

EV Targets and Sales Requirements

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

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)

State Planning and Investment

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Decarbonization Plan

EV and EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

EV Transit Bus Deployment

The ACEEE Transportation Electrification Scorecard analyzes the level of investment and policies states adopt to procure electric transit buses. States can earn up to 6 points.

ACEEE Score – 2 out of 6 points

Bicycle Friendly State

The League of American Bicyclists’ State Report Cards evaluate and rank the safety and efficiency of active transportation systems across all 50 states.

50-state Ranking – 7th

*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 and Education Programs

Food Waste Bans and Targets

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Regulations

HFC Regulations

Chapter 1289 (2020)

Methane Regulations

SF6 Regulations

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buy Clean Requirements

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated June 2022