State to Release Finalized Climate Change Plan at Summit on July 25

Climate Change Summit

Governor Martin O’Malley plans to release State’s final version of its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GRRA) Plan during a climate change summit  on July 25.  The summit will include panel discussions on planning for climate change adaption, green economic opportunities, messaging climate change, and climate change advocacy.  Click here for registration and other information.  The summit will be held at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, Maryland) from 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM.  Attendance is free but registration is required and seating space is limited.


The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009 (HB 315 / SB 278) required the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to develop a plan that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the State by 25% from their 2006 levels by 2020.  The legislation also required that any GHG reduction proposals in the Plan have a net economic benefit for Maryland.  MDE released a GRRA draft plan on December 31, 2011.  The 362-page draft plan was divided into 9 Chapters and offered 65 initial proposals for reducing GHG emissions.  The draft plan also had nearly 2,000 pages of supplemental material included in 7 appendices.  Part 2 of Conduit Street’s climate change blog series offered a short summary of each chapter and appendix.

A preliminary economic analysis conducted by Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) estimated that if all 65 of the draft plan’s Plan’s proposals are implemented the result will be the creation of approximately 36,000 jobs, $6.1 billion in additional economic output, and $2.1 billion in additional wages.  (These numbers do not include the estimated $3 billion required to implement the proposals.)  RESI’s full economic analysis can be found in Appendix E of the draft plan.

MACo Comments on the Draft Plan

MACo submitted comments on the draft plan in August of 2012.  The comments fell within four broad categories:  (1) comments regarding the estimated costs, economic benefits, and results of implementing the strategies proposed in the draft plan; (2) specific greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies outlined in Chapter 6 of the draft plan that would significantly affect local governments; (3) adaptation strategies outlined in Chapter 8 of the draft plan that would significantly affect local governments; and (4) the process that will be used to finalize and potentially implement the draft plan.

MACo expressed particular concern with proposals that would assign vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and GHG reduction goals to local governments.  Several of these proposals are based on initiatives undertaken by California.  See Part 3 of Conduit Street’s climate change blog series for further information.


Both MDE and Conduit Street have significant amounts of information regarding the draft GGRA Plan.   Use the following links for further information:

MDE GGRA Plan Page

Conduit Street Climate Change Blog Series Part 1 – Overview of State Efforts

Conduit Street Climate Change Blog Series Part 2 – GGRA Plan

Conduit Street  Climate Change Blog Series Part 3 – Using California as a Model

Conduit Street Article on MACo GGRA Plan Comments