​​​​​​​​​​​National Public Radio: How Climate Change Affects Your Life in Three Major Ways

Is it too late to keep global warming

The Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA, is a federal law that was enacted on August 18, 2022. The law includes billions of dollars for tax credits, rebates and federal programs to invest in healthcare, domestic energy production and manufacturing, and climate change mitigation, to name a few. The Maryland Office of People's Counsel has created a helpful website for consumers to look up these incentives. ​

 Climate Change Program

                   A MDE Climate Change Outreach Session in Southern MD

"Confronting climate change represents an opportunity for Maryland to lead — and together, we can be a leader in wind technology, in grid electrification, and in clean transit. We will protect our Chesapeake Bay, and address the toxic air pollution that chokes our cities. And we will put Maryland on track to generate 100 percent clean energy by 2035 — creating thousands of jobs in the process."  - Governor Wes Moore

MDE's Climate Change Program oversees the development and implementation of the state's plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conducts the state's greenhouse gas emissions inventory. 
The Climate Change staff support the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, ​the Buildings Energy Transition Task Force, and the Building Energy Performance Regulations (BEPS) process, and they manage  Maryland's membership in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)​ and the U.S. Climate Alliance. ​This program ​also ensures the state complies with climate change-related state and federal laws. 

Maryland has set the most aggressive GHG emissions reduction goals in the nation. Und​er the Climate Solutions Now Act (CSNA)​​​of 2022, a target has been established at 60% (over the 2006 level) by 2031 and net-zero emissions by 2​045. MDE has been working with the Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland on a conceptual roadmap to reach our climate goals. 

Maryland is recognized as leading the nation to protect the environment from climate change; the state is taking full advantage of the historic levels of federal investment to tackle damaging climate pollution, accelerate work to address environmental injustice, and deliver cleaner air. Meeting the climate crisis requires all Marylanders - companies, nonprofits, communities, and state and local governments. The Maryland Department of Environment is coordinating the State’s planning effort to reduce climate pollution and
will deliver the following:
● December 2023: State of Maryland 2031 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan to
achieve 60% climate pollution reductions by 2031 and be on track to net zero
emissions by 2045.
● March 2024: Maryland’s Priority Climate Action Plan to identify near-term,
high-priority, and implementation-ready measures to reduce climate pollution and prepare Maryland’s eligible entities to compete in the transformative federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, including the $4.6 billion EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant competition.​

Temperature change in Maryland since 1895​​Courtesy of Professor Ed Hawkins, University of Reading

The main cause of climate change is human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse ​gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. The Maryland Department of the Environment's (MDE) Climate Change Program is leading the state's efforts to reduce GHG emissions while creating jobs and benefiting the economy as required by state law. Although many initiatives throughout the State contribute to these efforts, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the​ Commission on Climate Change​ are key efforts by MDE, each of which can be explored further by following the navigational links on top, left-hand side of this page. ​

In November 2
018, a federal report ​advised that "climate change is affecting the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, and human health and welfare across the U.S. and its territories."  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  is warning that the world has no more than a year or two to see meaningful improvement in GHG emissions to avoid more drastic impacts of climate change. 

Wi​th 3,100 miles of shoreline, Maryland i
s the fourth most vulnerable state to suffer the effects of sea-level rise associated with climate change. Rising sea levels and increased storm intensity could have devastating and far-reaching impacts on the Atlantic coast and the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem that affect the environmental, recreational, and economic benefits enjoyed by Marylanders and visitors. Although Maryland's coastal areas may be considered particularly vulnerable, all areas ​of the state are at risk. In general, climate change alters the severity, frequency, or distribution of existing issues that are impacted either directly or indirectly by temperature and precipitation. This includes, but is not limited to: ​

  • Impacts on coastal, bay, and inland water quality parameters that may change the viable uses of surface water, such as for irrigation, recreation, or human consumption. MDE's Water and Science Administration's Climate Adaptation Goals and Strategies are available here. ​
  • Human health issues, including those affected by impacts on food and water supply, air quality, and extreme weather events.​
  • A higher probability of negative outcomes for disadvantaged communities and i​ndividuals inherently more sensitive or with a reduced adaptive capacity for responding to the impacts of climate change.
  • More frequent disruptions to urban and coastal infrastructure in Maryland caused by extreme weather events and sea-level rise impact the economy of the region by restricting the flow of goods and affecting days worked;
  • Common stressors experienced among ecosystems, agriculture, fisheries, and forests such as those caused by general changes in temperature and precipitation regimes; increased extreme weather events; and increased pressures from weeds, diseases, and pests.

The Fifth National Climate Assessment​ is the US Government’s preeminent report on climate change impacts, risks, and responses. It is a congressionally mandated interagency effort that provides the scientific foundation to support informed decision-making across the United States.​  For the international perspective, read the Int​ergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) latest report. ​

This site was created and is maintained by susan.casey1@maryland.gov 

We are grateful to the thousands of Marylanders and organizations who provided input on the statewide 2031 GHG Emissions Reduction Plan. 

Through outreach sessions around the state, the online comment form, and letters to the Department, we thank those who participated in the planning process these last five months. Your ideas and comments about the provisions laid out in Maryland's Climate Pathway Report will ​help inform the plan which is due by the end of December, as required by the Climate Solut​ions Now Act.

We also are grateful to our partner,  the Center for Global Sustainability, University of Maryland, for their expert assistance.


Click on the cover to read the Pathway Report:​

Maryland Climate Pathway Cover.png
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