Petition Calls For Montgomery County Public Schools to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Bethesda Beat article (2019-07-22) reported that more than 200 community members have signed a petition calling on the Montgomery County Public School System (MCPS) to reduce its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. The petition states that MCPS is a “major polluter” in the County. The article noted that in 2017, the County Council set agoal of eliminating 80% of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2027. (Maryland’s current statewide goal is a 40% reduction by 2030).

From the article:

[The petition] called on MCPS officials to reduce the district’s carbon footprint by developing a plan to ensure new school buildings have zero greenhouse gas emissions, use electric school buses, incorporate climate change education for high school students and establish a student-led committee to suggest policies for a “low-greenhouse gas lifestyle.” …

“The two biggest sources of MCPS greenhouse gases are from heating, cooling, and powering buildings and transportation.”

According to MCPS data, 83% of its greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 were a result of electricity and bus fleet fuel.

The article included a response from the school system, which noted: (1) the County Board of Education passed a resolution in 2019 recognizing the “significant threat” of climate change and pledging to purse energy conservation efforts; (2) the school system publishes an annual environmental sustainability plan; (3) eight county schools that have received National Green Ribbon awards for their sustainability efforts; and (4) climate change is taught in all MCPS schools. According to the article, MCPS has also volunteered to participate in a pilot program to adopt zero emission school buses.