Maryland Releases Climate Action Plan

September 02, 2008

On August 27, the Maryland Commission on Climate Change released The Climate Action Plan to Governor Martin O'Malley. The plan predicts what effects global warming will have on the state, recommends actions to protect Maryland’s property and people from rising sea levels and changing weather patterns, and outlines 42 strategies to help the state greatly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Those strategies encompass energy efficiency and conservation, investments in clean energy technologies, waste management and advanced recycling, improved building and trade codes, "buy local" programs, and the use of farm byproducts such as switch grass for energy production. The strategies also include several transportation related options, such as better land use and increased mass transit to reduce vehicle miles traveled. If fully implemented, the plan states, Maryland would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 25 percent to 50 percent below 2006 levels by 2020.

The plan also predicts that implementing the 42 strategies could yield a net economic benefit of approximately $2 billion dollars by 2020. A study by the Baltimore-based International Center for Sustainable Development shows that Maryland could create between 144,000 and 326,000 green collar and research and development jobs by developing clean energy industries, which would contribute $5.7 billion in wages and salaries, boost local tax revenues by $973 million, and increase gross state production by $16 billion.

In April 2007, Governor O’Malley signed an executive order establishing the commission, which is made up of 16 state agency heads and 6 members of the General Assembly. The executive order emphasized Maryland’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, which include sea level rise, increased storm intensity, extreme droughts and heat waves, and increased wind and rainfall events. It stated that human activities such as coastal development, burning of fossil fuels, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to the causes and consequences of climate change.

For more information, see the Maryland Department of the Environment August 27 press release and the full plan .

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Maryland, see: