MD Environmental Groups Applaud Findings of Climate Commission Report & Call on Elected Leaders for Bold Climate Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17th, 2020

Media Contacts:
Pablo Willis, pablo.willis@sierraclub.org
Dannielle Lipinski, dlipinski@mdlcv.org 

MD Environmental Groups Applaud Findings of Climate Commission Report & Call on Elected Leaders for Bold Climate Action 

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Sierra Club and Maryland League of Conservation Voters today applauded the Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s new 2020 Annual Report to the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Hogan. 

The Maryland Commission on Climate Change is a bipartisan commission made up of labor unions, government agencies, business representatives, utilities, scientists, and environmental advocates who develop policies and strategies to address the urgent threat of climate change. This year’s bipartisan report outlines several critical actions the state can take to help mitigate the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis. 

The Sierra Club and Maryland LCV lauded several immediate policy Recommendations outlined in the 2020 Annual Report, including:  

  • Transition off all of Maryland’s dirty coal-fired plants by no later than 2030 and establish a community transition plan to support impacted workers and communities. 
  • Update and increase Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act goals to reduce statewide GHG emissions by 50 percent from 2006 levels by 2030 with a planning goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
  • Prioritize and invest in equitable electrification of Maryland’s commercial and residential buildings to ensure Marylanders can reap the economic and health benefits of climate-friendly homes through investing in retrofits. 
  • Center environmental and climate justice principles in all planning and coordination with intergovernmental and community partners. 
  • Preserve state and regional efforts to decarbonize transportation through incentives to construct battery charging stations and increase the use of Zero-Emission Vehicles. 

Maryland Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, David Smedick, released the following statement:

We applaud the work done by the Maryland Commission on Climate Change in outlining common-sense climate action policies that center the need for equity. In particular, it’s exciting to see the Commission recognize the unsustainable and uneconomic nature of the coal industry and call on the General Assembly to move the state entirely off coal-fired power plants in the coming years while supporting impacted workers and communities in that transition. The report’s groundbreaking recommendations to begin transitioning off fossil fuels in our homes and businesses by heating our buildings with systems that use clean electricity is a necessary change that’ll produce safer, healthier and more climate-friendly buildings. There is more work to do but this year’s report is an important step forward and we hope the General Assembly and Governor Hogan implement the climate actions recommended by the Commission.”

Executive Director for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and co-chair of the Commission, Kim Coble, released the following statement:

“The Commission’s recommendations have the potential to better position Maryland to be a national leader in responding to climate change while also considering its disadvantaged and overburdened communities. We look forward to working with the Governor and General Assembly to move these recommendations forward.” Coble cited the Transportation and Climate Initiative as a crucial opportunity for the state to use a regional approach to address emission reductions from the transportation sector.

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