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Maryland must take stronger action on greenhouse gas emissions | READER COMMENTARY

Maryland lawmakers are currently pondering the Climate Solutions Act of 2020 which would change the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goal from 40% by 2030 to 60% by 2030, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2045.
Maryland lawmakers are currently pondering the Climate Solutions Act of 2020 which would change the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goal from 40% by 2030 to 60% by 2030, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2045. (Konstantin Kolosov // Shutterstock)

The Hogan administration is concerned that a new bill, the Climate Solutions Act, could “threaten to unravel the consensus underlying current law” (“Maryland environmental advocates seek more aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals,” Feb. 19). We are not in a place where we should be worrying about unraveling consensus in past legislation as Maryland teeters on the brink of a crisis.

The fact is that Maryland needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2040 in order to do its part in reducing the global climate threat. That’s exactly what the Climate Solutions Act would do. Maryland must take bolder action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and this bill is a big step in the right direction. A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that 23,000 Maryland residents are at risk of chronic flooding by 2045, affecting nearly $3.6 billion of residential property. Those numbers more than quadruple by 2100.

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Current mandates don’t move us quickly enough toward a clean economy. Floods, fires, droughts, and disease are advancing faster than many scientists predicted and the time to act is now. In the face of federal inaction, Maryland can and should set a bold example not only for other states, but for other nations. Not only will this climate bill create jobs, but it will green our communities with its tree-planting provisions. It will lower energy bills by advancing energy-efficiency improvements. And it will make the air cleaner by electrifying the government’s vehicle fleet.

The Climate Solutions Act is a sensible policy that keeps pace with the escalating threat that we are facing, and there is no good reason to oppose it.

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Cecilia Plante, Olney

The writer is co-chair of the Maryland Legislative Coalition.

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