Maryland Governor Signs Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act

May 7, 2009

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act today, completing an almost two-year process that began with his convening the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. The act requires that the state of Maryland achieve a 25-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and will use the Climate Action Plan, which was created by the Commission, as a road map to guide the state to the target.

The Climate Action Plan was developed by the Maryland Commission on Climate Change with technical and economic analysis and meeting facilitation provided by the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS). It offers 42 specific pollution-reduction and energy-saving recommendations that will reduce greenhouse gases by 25 to 50 percent by 2020.

“We’ve facilitated 20 climate action planning processes around the country, and this law stands out as one of the most comprehensive single pieces of state climate legislation we’ve seen yet,” Tom Peterson, president and chief executive officer at CCS said. “It puts Maryland at the forefront of states that are reducing the pollution that causes climate change and provides detailed and broad-ranging guidance for federal action.”

Additionally, transitioning to a low-carbon economy is expected to have a positive net economic benefit to the state. The results of net savings from energy efficiency, renewable and clean energy, transportation improvements, and forest, farm, and waste conservation programs, including numerous new green job opportunities, are estimated to be valued at approximately $2 billion by 2020.

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