MACo Summer Conference Attendees heard about the plans and goals of Maryland’s new Climate Leadership Academy on August 15, 2018. As Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources Mark Belton noted, the Academy is the first state-sponsored program of its kind in the nation and is designed to train county government officials and others on climate change preparation and response.
Belton stated that the Academy was developed in concert with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) and an Advisory Council formed of various state officials and stakeholder groups. Belton also provided an overview of the Maryland Coast Smart Council, 2018 legislation that applied some of the Council’s resiliency criteria to local government projects, and climate change fiscal and technical resources available to county governments.
Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles provided an overview of the work on the Maryland Commission on Climate Change, which is developing a plan to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from their 2005 levels by 2030.
ACCO Executive Director Daniel Kreeger outlined the first year training plans and actions for the Academy. Participation will be open to leaders from the State; local governments; education institutions; faith-based, community, and other non-governmental organizations; and private businesses. As the Academy’s curriculum is still being refined, the first class/cohort will be offered for free.