BALTIMORE (Nov. 16, 2021) – The Maryland Commission on Climate Change has issued its annual report to Governor Larry Hogan and the General Assembly.
The “2021 Annual Report and Building Energy Transition Plan” includes more than 50 recommendations to guide state agency leaders, elected officials, legislators, and other stakeholders to meet Maryland’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act Plan goals and the commission’s recommendation that the state should achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 2045. It also features a plan that identifies low-cost pathways for decarbonizing the residential and commercial buildings sectors.
“Just after the Maryland Commission on Climate Change convened to overwhelmingly approve this annual report, I traveled to Glasgow to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Summit known as COP26. There, I met with climate scientists and policymakers to discuss strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero as quickly as possible while growing the economy and adapting to a rapidly changing climate,” said Commission Chair and Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “Maryland continues to be a leader on climate action, but the need for deeper emissions reduction and stronger resilience are abundantly clear and our commitment to bold and balanced action has never been stronger. I thank all the members, co-chairs, and citizens involved in this effort.”
The Maryland Commission on Climate Change (Commission) is an independent body that exists to advise the governor and General Assembly on strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change. The Commission adopted the report at its quarterly meeting on November 1 and issued the report yesterday to the governor and General Assembly.
The Commission consists of members representing state agencies and the legislature, local government, business, environmental non-profit organizations, organized labor, philanthropic interests, and the state university system. The Commission co-chairs are Anne Lindner, director of state government affairs at Exelon, and Kim Coble, executive director at Maryland League of Conservation Voters.
In 2021, the Commission engaged in significant activities in pursuit of the body’s specific statutory charges while ensuring that environmental and climate justice considerations are integrated across its work and recommendations. The report provides a set of recommendations in the following areas:
- Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
- State Government Operations
- Carbon Sequestration
- Adaptation and Resilience
- Environmental Justice, Climate Justice & Public Health
- Education, Communication, and Outreac
Woven across the recommendations is a focus on: creating economic opportunity and jobs as the state simultaneously tackles climate and energy transitions; preparing our residents and infrastructure for the impacts of climate change like rising sea levels, increased flooding, and changing weather conditions; and centering equity and justice to ensure that all people, especially those who have historically been left behind, can benefit from state efforts, policies, and programs.
Creating a Building Energy Transition Plan was a focus for the Commission this year. The 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan called on the Commission to produce a Building Energy Transition Plan in 2021 to flesh out the policies that are needed to decarbonize the residential and commercial buildings sectors. That plan is included as an appendix to the annual report.
The annual report can be found at mde.maryland.gov/MCCC.