ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland General Assembly achieved mixed results with the passage today of the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022. After the Senate concurred with the House of Delegates’ amended version of Senate Bill 528, the Assembly has now sent the bill to Governor Larry Hogan.
CCAN Action Fund, the political wing of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, views the bill as a moderate positive step on climate policy. Climate Solutions Now makes an excellent commitment to cut statewide greenhouse gas emissions 60% below 2006 levels by 2031 and reach net-zero emissions by 2045. Among other things, it also requires large buildings (35,000 square feet or larger) to reduce their emissions by 20% by 2030, the electrification of the state passenger and light-duty fleet, and investments in overburdened communities by adding climate-focused positions in the Maryland Chesapeake Conservation Corp and targeting climate investments in low-to-moderate income communities.
But the General Assembly also ignored a bipartisan recommendation from the prestigious Maryland Commission on Climate Change to require electric hot water and space heating systems in all new buildings starting in 2023. Activists acknowledge this shortcoming and call for stronger action in the coming years to reach these emission reductions goals.
Victoria Venable – Maryland Director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network and CCAN Action Fund: “The Climate Solutions Now Act serves as a signal that Maryland is moving toward stronger policies on climate change. The bill mostly represents a promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions but it doesn’t provide the full and concrete plan we need on how to get there. We are proud of the work of Senator Pinsky, Delegate Barve, and, most importantly, the thousands of activists and Maryland residents who pushed this bill over the finish line. We know what we need to do next to make good on this promise of emission cuts – we need to electrify across the economy and we need to expand renewable energy so that electricity is coming from clean, renewable sources. This is a step in the right direction but we have so much more work to do.”
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The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the first grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in the Chesapeake Bay region. For almost 20 years, CCAN has been at the center of the fight for clean energy and wise climate policy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.