Vermont’s largest city on track to hit ‘net zero’ by 2030

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The city of Burlington is on track to reach its “net zero” energy goal by 2030, said Mayor Miro Weinberger.

Weinberger and others provided an update Monday on the city’s plans to reach the goal by the end of the decade.

Fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions were lower in the city in 2019 and 2020, compared with 2018. The 2020 reduction in Burlington was partly due to the pandemic.

Weinberger said actions by people in Burlington helped the city reach the point where it is now.

“We must continue to take such bold steps to help us lock in additional emissions reductions and continue our progress toward net zero energy,” Weinberger said in a statement.

“Net zero” generally means offsetting emissions of greenhouse gases with reductions elsewhere. reports that Weinberger also announced a new set of initiatives for 2021, including energy policy changes, building an expanded bike lane network, and continuing the Burlington Electric Department’s Green Stimulus Program.

Darren Springer, the general manager of the Burlington Electric Department, said less driving during the pandemic helped reduce emissions, and new technologies may allow some people to drive less after the pandemic.