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 (MDE) is leading Governor Hogan's efforts to reduce GHG emissions while creating jobs and benefiting the economy, as required by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA). Although many initiatives throughout the State contribute to these efforts, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (chaired by MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles) are key efforts by MDE, each of which can be explored further by following the navigational links on the left-hand side of this page.
In November 2018, 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 good news is that in Maryland, we have an action plan to combat it.
With 3,100 miles of shoreline, Maryland is 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 Maryland and her 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:
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