If one is wondering what leadership on climate change looks like, the State of Maryland is one of the best models. The Governor of this state of slightly fewer than 6 million in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States has decided that successful integration of climate change goals and economic growth will be one of his legacies. Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley recently made a speech to his state’s Climate Change Summit that set out the key objective: we have a planet to save and we have jobs to create.
The state has a newly published greenhouse gas reduction plan that is 265 pages long and contains more than 150 state and state-led initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This plan proves for a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020 and the target looks to be achievable.
Initiatives cover every aspect of Maryland’s economy and human activity, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, cap and trade, transportation, agriculture and forestry, construction, recycling, innovation, and land use. Whether you are in business, government, non-profits, or simply a member of the public, Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan provides you with an economic and environmental role to play with the larger framework. It also provides a useful model for those in other jurisdictions who are wondering how to achieve meaningful climate change goals.
The 265 page Maryland Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan is available at http://climatechange.maryland.gov/publications/greenhouse-gas-emissions-reduction-act-plan/
The Governor’s detailed 7 page speech to the 2013 Maryland Climate Change Summit is at http://www.governor.maryland.gov/documents/ClimateChangeSummit.pdf