Organizations Across Maryland Applaud State Senate for Passing Groundbreaking “Climate Solutions Now” Act

MD State House

The bill, which has attracted widespread support, is the most ambitious climate legislation to ever be proposed in Maryland and could set a new tone for the entire country

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, in its strongest action to date on climate change, the Maryland State Senate passed the “Climate Solutions Now” Act SB0414/ HB0583 by a vote of 34-11. The bill sets strong new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 2030 through actions ranging from greater energy efficiency, the planting of millions of trees, and commitments to electric vehicles. This is one of the strongest such bills of any state in the nation.

If passed by the full General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Hogan, the “Climate Solutions Now Act” would align Maryland’s emissions reduction requirements with the latest climate science by increasing our 2030 emissions reduction goal from 40% to 60%. It would also improve the Maryland Department of Environment’s “Climate Action Plan,” invest in frontline and disadvantaged communities through the creation of a climate justice workgroup, and put workers first in climate action.

“Climate Change is a pressing issue that we cannot ignore,” stated Senate President Bill Ferguson. “Passing the Climate Solutions Now Act, is critical to ensure that Maryland is doing everything we can to clean our environment, address environmental justice, and prepare for the jobs of the future.”

It would also reduce greenhouse gas pollution with the following actions:

  • Increasing Energy Efficiency: The bill increases our electricity efficiency requirements from 2% annual rate savings to 3%, moving Maryland into the top tier of the country.

  • Electrifying State Vehicles: The bill will require 100% of new state busses to be zero emission after 2022 and 100% of light duty vehicles to be zero emission after 2024.

  • Requiring Zero Emissions Public Buildings: The bill requires all new buildings with at least 25% of their funding coming from the state to meet net zero emissions building standards. Public schools, with the exception of one of the next five in each school system, are exempted.

  • Plant 5 Million Trees: To aid carbon sequestration, the bill will require the state to plant 500,000 additional trees every year for ten years. Ten percent of those will be planted in historically redlined, underserved urban communities.

  • Boost Rooftop Solar: The bill will require all new buildings with at least 25,000 square feet of roof space to be solar-ready.

  • Invest in Healthy Soils: The bill sends $500,000 each year to the Maryland’s Healthy Soils Program to aid soil sequestration strategies.

“Thanks to the leadership of President Ferguson and Chairman Pinsky, the Maryland Senate just voted to entirely eliminate our impact on the climate in just 23 years. This is truly a historic day,” said Jamie DeMarco, Maryland Policy Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund.

As the state with the second-most tidal shore communities at risk of flooding, Maryland is already starting to lose islands (like Fox Island) in the Chesapeake Bay due to sea level rise. Maryland’s flooding risk extends far beyond waterfront areas, as was evidenced during two “thousand-year floods” in Ellicott City within 22 months. Rising temperatures have already damaged the health of the Chesapeake Bay, weakening the tourism and seafood industries that support many Maryland livelihoods. Maryland has the fourth most premature deaths in the nation caused by dirty energy-created air pollution. The 2020s are projected to bring more severe storms, more dangerous flooding, and more extreme heat.

“The science is clear, we can no longer wait to take action against the climate crisis,” said Maryland LCV Executive Director Kim Coble. “We applaud the senate for taking definitive action today in support of the Climate Solutions Now Act. This is a huge leap forward in correcting the long standing inequity of climate pollution in communities of color and fighting climate change. We look forward to the House voting on this critical piece of legislation and urge their support to protect our climate and our communities.”

“Every Marylander will feel the effects of climate change,” said Josh Kurtz, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Maryland Executive Director. “Many already have. Storms are increasing in ferocity, sea levels are rising, and our coastal communities are threatened. Climate change is making the Chesapeake Bay clean-up tougher and warmer water temperatures are depriving Bay life of oxygen. Today’s vote by the Maryland Senate shows state leaders are prepared to face this threat head-on. The Climate Solutions Now Act will add five million new trees throughout Maryland and ensure the state reduces greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, buildings, and other sources. As the House takes up the bill in earnest, we’ll continue our strong advocacy for this legislation.”

The bill is sponsored by Maryland Senator Paul Pinsky (D-Prince Georges) and Delegate Dana Stein (D-Baltimore County), and has been championed by over 100 Maryland organizations, many of which belong to the Climate Solutions Now Coalition. “Climate Solutions Now Act” will now cross over to the Maryland House, where it’ll be heard first by the Environment and Transportation committee.


The Climate Solutions Now Coalition is a statewide umbrella group bringing together dozens of organizations and individuals working to strengthen Maryland’s response to climate change.


Organizations in the Climate Solutions Now Coalition:

  • 350 Montgomery County

  • Alliance for Livable Communities

  • Archdiocese of Washington

  • Arden Group, LLC

  • Arundel Rivers Federation

  • Assateague Coastal Trust

  • Audubon Naturalist Society

  • Audubon Society of Central Maryland

  • Baltimore Blue+Green+Just

  • Baltimore Green Space

  • Baltimore Peoples Climate Movement

  • Baltimore Tree Trust

  • Bikemore

  • Black By Nature

  • Blue Water Baltimore

  • Blueberry Gardens

  • Brooke Carroll Consulting

  • CEPA

  • Chapman Forest Foundation

  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation

  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network Action Fund

  • Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility

  • City of Annapolis

  • City of College Park, MD

  • Clean Air Prince George’s

  • Cleanwater linganore Inc.

  • Climate Change Working Group of Frederick County

  • Climate Justice Wing

  • Climate Law & Policy Project

  • Climate Reality Project Baltimore

  • Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis

  • Climate XChange Maryland

  • Connecting the Dots

  • Creation Care Action & Advocacy of the Baltimore-Washington Conf of UMC

  • Deering Health Associates

  • Defensores de la Cuenca

  • Echotopia LLC

  • El Andoreigo Restaurant

  • Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Laurel

  • Environmental Justice Ministry Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church

  • Friends of Gwynns Falls Leakin Park

  • Friends of Quincy Run Watershed

  • Friends of Sligo Creek

  • Green Team at St. Vincent de Paul Church

  • Green Towson Alliance

  • Greenbelt Climate Action Network

  • GreenGrace (Maryland Episcopal Environmental Partners)

  • GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic

  • Grow Home Inc

  • Halls Choice Farm, Ltd

  • Healthy Soils Frederick

  • Howard County Climate Action

  • Howard County Conservancy

  • Indivisible

  • Indivisible Howard County

  • Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake

  • Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)

  • Ji’Aire’s Workgroup

  • Kittamaqundi Community Church

  • League of Women Voters of Maryland

  • Lovely Yarns

  • Main Street Oriental Rugs

  • Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights

  • Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home

  • Maryland League of Conservation Voters

  • Maryland Legislative Coalition

  • Maryland Sierra Club

  • Memorial Episcopal Church

  • Miche Booz Architect

  • MOM’s Organic Market

  • Mont Co Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

  • Montgomery Countryside Alliance

  • Mother Earth Project

  • Multifaith Alliance of Climate Stewards

  • Multifaith Alliance of Climate Stewards- Frederick CO

  • National Aquarium

  • NeighborSpace of Baltimore County

  • Nuclear Information and Resource Service (for a carbon-free, nuclear-free world)

  • OK Natural Foods

  • Parks and People Foundation

  • Patapsco Heritage Greenway

  • Pearlstone Center

  • Potomac Conservancy

  • Preservation Maryland

  • Prince George’s Justice and Advocacy Council

  • Prince George’s County Young Democrats

  • Public Justice Center

  • Purple Mountain Organics

  • Quaker Voice of Maryland

  • Qualihall Endeavors

  • Rachel Carson Council

  • Rock Creek Conservancy, Inc.

  • Safe Healthy Playing Fields Inc.

  • Safe Skies Maryland

  • Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

  • Severn River Association

  • ShoreRivers

  • Southern Maryland Fair Skies Coalition

  • Stony Run Friends Meeting (Quakers)

  • Strong Future Maryland

  • Sunrise Movement Baltimore

  • Sunrise Movement Howard County

  • Sunrise Movement Maryland (representing 7 hubs)

  • Takoma Park Mobilization Environment Committee

  • The Backyard Naturalist

  • The Biz Center Renewable Energy Incubator

  • The Community Ecology Institute

  • The Green Commuter, Kinetic Artistry

  • The Wise Steward, Inc

  • Transition Howard County

  • Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland

  • Waterkeepers Chesapeake

  • WISE

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CCAN Action Fund is the grassroots 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.


March 12, 2021                          


Laura Cofsky,, 202-642-9336

Jamie DeMarco,, 443-845-5601

Dannielle Lipinski,, 443-617-7257

AJ Metcalf,, 443-482-2023