BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland is continuing to push forward to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the state and set them on a path to achieve their climate change goals and support economic growth.
The Maryland Department of the Environment has drafted a plan to “dramatically reduce” emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act- Reauthorization, signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, will attempt to expand on the original law that the state achieve at least a 40 percent reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 levels by 2030.
Under the Paris Agreement, the U.S.’s commitment is to reduce emissions between 26 and 28 percent.
“Maryland has invested the time and done the hard work needed to propose this aggressive, achievable, science-based climate action plan,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “The Hogan administration is committed to confronting the climate crisis through bold, collaborative, innovative, and bipartisan action.”
The draft plan incorporates a set of over 100 measures, according to the department, including investments in energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy solutions, adopting electric vehicles on a widespread level and improving farm and forest management.
The MDE is required by the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act to develop this reduction plan- and they say it will achieve a 44 percent reduction- more than what is required.
Maryland had a requirement of 25 percent from 2006 levels by 2020 and upped that requirement to the current 40 percent in 2016- renewing the 2009 Maryland law.
Other initiatives include enhancing healthy soil plans for farmers, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings through the EmPOWER Maryland program, along with Gov. Hogan’s executive order for state buildings to reduce energy use by another 10 percent.
The law does require for the department to solicit public comment on the draft plan from stakeholders and the public before they can officially adopt the plan. They have developed the plan coordinating with other state agencies and stakeholders including the bipartisan Maryland Commission on Climate Change.
The department estimates as much as $11.54 billion in increased economic output in the state by 2030, and the creation of more than 11,000 jobs as a result of these proposals.