Through a newly released, comprehensive, economy-wide plan, the Maryland Department of Environment is aiming to cut the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 44 percent by 2030.
The draft plan, which is required under a state law that
mandates a 40 percent GHG reduction by 2030, proposes to reach that
environmental goal through more than 100 measures. Those include investments in
buildings that achieve higher energy efficiency, requirements to remove some
GHG sources from building systems, and incentives to use clean energy.
The plan which is required by law to generate positive
economic results, is expected to create or sustain 11,649 jobs and grow the
state economy by $11 billion by 2030, state consultants say.
Key elements of the draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan include:
- Achieving 100 percent clean electricity by 2040
through the Governor’s proposed Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES);
- Increased emphasis on clean transportation
including the potential participation in an interstate agreement to tax motor
fuels and reinvest the proceeds in clean vehicles and infrastructure;
- Continued participation and expansion of the
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an emissions cap and trade framework
applied to power plants in the northeast states;
- The phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which
are used in refrigeration, air conditioning, building insulation, adhesives,
coatings, solvents, fire extinguisher systems, aerosol propellants and other
products that have the potential to trap significantly more heat in the
atmosphere than the equivalent amount of CO2;
- Increase enrollment in forest management and
farm soils practices to sequester carbon;
- Encouragement of compact development patterns to
achieve “location efficiency”;
- Continued offers of household appliance rebates
and a directive that state buildings reduce energy use by another 10 percent.
The plan builds on Maryland’s previous, successful efforts
to cut its GHG emissions. The 2017 state inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
indicated Maryland met its target of cutting GHGs 25 percent by 2020 nearly
three years ahead of schedule.
Public comment on the new GHG reduction plan will be taken until