ANNAPOLIS, MD – Last night, in a very disappointing turn of events for Maryland’s climate leaders and residents alike, legislators failed to pass the groundbreaking “Climate Solutions Now” Act (SB 414/HB 583). The bill, which was co-sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky (D-Prince Georges) and Delegate Dana Stein (D-Baltimore), as introduced would have mandated a 60% reduction in emissions, based on 2006 levels, by 2030, and net zero by 2045. The bill as introduced would have also created new good-paying jobs, increased the state’s energy efficiency targets, and required the state to buy electric vehicles.
CCAN Action Fund’s Federal and Maryland Policy Director Jamie DeMarco’s statement on this vote:
“We are deeply disappointed that the “Climate Solutions Now” Act did not pass the Maryland General Assembly this year. This is the second year in a row that climate goal-setting bills did not advance. As introduced, this legislation would have put Maryland on a course to a 60% economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2045. It would have planted five million trees — with two thirds of the funding going to urban, historically redlined or economically disadvantaged communities, made our buildings more efficient, built net-zero schools, deployed more electric vehicles, and required that we invest most in communities that we have invested in the least.
“While we commend the two chambers for passing other legislation that had many of the bill’s components (electric buses, trees, etc), a long-term goal is important for setting the state on a course to net zero and implementing greenhouse gas reductions. Fundamentally, “Climate Solutions Now” was a goal-setting bill. Whether or not we set an emissions goal this year, we still need to come back next year with the specific, ambitious, enforceable policies that will actually achieve that goal. Even though it is not recognized by Maryland law, 60% by 2030 remains what is required for wealthy states in wealthy nations, based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in order for global temperatures to rise less than 1.5 degrees celsius. This kind of emissions reduction remains our goal, and we look forward to working with legislators to achieve it.”
The CCAN Action Fund is the advocacy arm of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the oldest and largest 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.