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Rutland Forum to Explore Next Steps for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy


MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. What are your experiences? Do you have ideas that can help nurture this sector in Vermont? Join Rutland Mayor Chris Louras and local business leaders for a forum on What’s Next for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy? The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is producing this discussion which takes place at Rutland’s Paramount Theater on Wednesday, August 26, from 7-9pm.

“Rutland is bridging the gap between being ready for the impacts of climate change and building businesses to confront it and reduce our contribution to it,” says Mayor Louras. “I encourage Vermonters from throughout the region to share their ideas during this forum.”

The regional forum is the next step for public input to the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council. This group, formed following a statewide Summit in February, is developing a practical plan to reduce carbon emissions and stimulate green economic development in Vermont. The panelists include Joe Fusco, Vice President of Casella Waste Systems, Betsy Ide, Energy Innovation Center at Green Mountain Power, and Mark Foley, President of Foley Services.

The Summit focused on economic development in a time of climate change, including transportation, education, investment strategies, downtown redevelopment, tourism, and efficiency. The report, which provides excellent background material for the forum, is online at

More information about the forum and the Council can be found through VCRD’s home page at, through Facebook at Vermont Climate Change Economy, or by calling Jenna Whitson at 802 225-6091 or writing

The Rutland Forum is sponsored by Casella Waste Systems, Foley Services, Green Mountain Power Innovation Center, Small Dog Electronics, and the Vermont Country Store. Only two other forums are planned. One in Burlington on September 17 and one in Brattleboro on October 6.


The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a non-profit organization charged by the federal farm bill to act as a neutral convener at both the local and policy level supporting the progress of Vermont communities. VCRD will promote the platform of action that comes from the deliberations of Summit participants. Past VCRD policy efforts have supported progress in issues ranging from wood products to downtown revitalization, rural energy development, the digital economy, and Vermont’s working landscape. VCRD produced the most extensive evaluation of Vermont values and priorities in a generation when it led the Council on the Future of Vermont in 2009.