Volume III, Number 7
eMDE is a monthly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state.
In April 2007 Governor Martin O’Malley issued Executive Order 01.01.2007.07, forming the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, which was charged with developing the State’s Climate Action Plan. MDE’s Secretary Shari T. Wilson serves as chair of the Commission. The Commission is advised by scientists, policy experts, environmentalists, and other stakeholders to consider the best possible measures to mitigate Maryland’s contribution to climate change and to adapt to changes in the natural environment.
Because of the potential for severe impacts of sea level rise resulting from climate change, Maryland is in a unique position to assume a leadership role in the national discussions on climate protection. After an intense and collaborative effort by all parties involved, the Commission released the Climate Action Plan that provides a policy roadmap based on the most recent climate change science. The effort brings Maryland closer to protecting its natural resources, economy, and environment, while also allowing the State to lead by example in areas where federal policy is currently lacking.
The Plan describes Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction targets: 25 percent below 2006 levels by 2020 and an aspirational goal of 90 percent by 2050. The Commission’s assessment has revealed that approximately half of that 2020 reduction will be accomplished through existing programs including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Maryland Clean Cars Act, the Empower Maryland Initiative and the Renewable Portfolio Standard. Additionally, the Department is confident in the suite of 42 policy options that have been laid out by the Commission’s Mitigation Working group, tackling issues in the wide range of sectors that contribute to our carbon footprint. Although policies from the Plan have not been codified in state law, citizens can begin to make a difference at home, on the road, and in the community. Based on the Plan, MDE urgues citizens to take steps including:
Click here for more detailed information on potential climate protection in Maryland, the full Action Plan is available at
Read more about the Climate Action Plan in MDE's EnviroMatters.
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