Maryland Finalizes Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 25 Percent by 2020

July 26, 2013

At the Maryland Climate Summit, Gov. Martin O'Malley laid out Maryland's aggressive new plan to reduce carbon pollution.

The plan calls for an economy-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, which is considered one of the strongest emission reduction goals in the country.

"We are here today because we understand deep in our hearts that we do have a moral obligation to our children and to our grandchildren to give to them a planet that is not on the tragectory that we currently find our selves in - a planet that is becoming increasingly more damaged, more polluted, more unhealthy," Gov. O'Malley said. "If we want better results we have to make better choices."

Gov. Martin O'Malley lays out Maryland's plan to reduce carbon pollution at the Maryland Climate Summit.

Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center, congratulated and thanked the governor in her keynote remarks, which focused on adaptation to climate impacts. 

"Maryland has long been a leader in clean energy, emissions reduction, and adaptation, and we enjoy working with state officials to meet the many challenges facing Maryland and our nation as a result of climate change," Arroyo said.

The plan, which will be implemented through 150-plus programs and initiatives, must reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent annually.  The plan is also expected to result in estimated economic benefits of $1.6 billion and support over 37,000 jobs.

Key components of the plan include reducing energy consumption by 15 percent by 2020, increasing renewable energy and accelerating the state's Renewable Porfolio Standard to 25 percent by 2020, implementing the recent agreement to tighten the cap on carbon pollution from the power sector in conjunction with other northeast states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and increasing the use of public transit and clean vehicles, such as electric cars and trucks.

A detailed copy of the Maryland plan can be downloaded here.  

Click on the video below to watch the governor outline key provisions of the plan.