Maryland Preparing to Implement GHG Reduction Act

Almost two years after convening the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Act. The commission involved more than 100 diverse stakeholders from around the state in the development of an economy-wide Climate Action Plan , which was delivered to the governor last August. The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) provided technical and economic analysis as well as facilitation for the commission's meetings and those of its technical working groups.

"The Center for Climate Strategy's work on Maryland's Climate Action Plan cannot be overstated," said Shari T. Wilson, secretary of the Maryland Department of Environment. "Their expertise, technical knowledge, and familiarity with climate initiatives—both national and international—enabled Maryland to craft a well-thought out plan to achieve both economic and environmental benefits. The Climate Action Plan was key to Maryland passing a strong bill committing our state to reduce our greenhouse gases."

The Climate Action Plan recommended 42 specific approaches to reducing GHGs, which will serve as the starting point for the Maryland Department of the Environment to implement the new law signed earlier this month.

The law requires the state to achieve a 25 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 and will use the Climate Action Plan created by the commission as a road map to guide Maryland to the target.

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is expected to have a positive net benefit to the state valued at approximately $2 billion by 2020—the result of net savings from energy efficiency, renewable and clean energy, transportation improvements, and forest, farm, and waste conservation programs that include numerous new "green" job opportunities.