Maryland is one step closer to passage of the Climate Solutions Now Act as the General Assembly passed the bill and now moves it to the Governor’s desk. Governor Hogan has said that he will not veto the bill, but will let it pass without his signature.
The Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 speeds up Maryland’s current goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 40% of 2006 levels to 60% by 2031, and it establishes 2045 as the state’s goal for becoming carbon neutral.
“We are grateful the Maryland General Assembly had the courage and vision to vote for a healthy future for Marylanders,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “Action by the legislature ensures Maryland is leading the nation in fighting the impacts of climate change.”
The legislation will accelerate the state’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expand clean energy use, and invest in underserved communities.
“Many communities, overburdened with polluting industries and other hazards, will see new investments, thanks to the legislation. It also will create new opportunities in these communities to take advantage of the move to clean energy that is underway in Maryland,” said Staci Hartwell, Chair of the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee of the NAACP Maryland State Conference.
The legislation’s key components include provisions to:
- Require the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 60 percent by 2031 and reach net-zero emissions by 2045.
- Require large commercial and residential buildings to reduce their emissions and achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.
- Expand the state’s electric vehicle fleet, including school buses.
- Incorporate key elements to promote environmental justice and invest in overburdened communities
Polling conducted by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters found that 77% of respondents agreed that Maryland should take steps to address climate change, and 76% support requiring existing large commercial buildings in Maryland to make needed improvements to reduce emissions.
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) called the Act “one of the nation’s most robust climate and clean energy policies”, and said it’s legislation that other states can model as it “meets the moment and puts us on track for a sustainable, equitable future.”
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