Office on Climate Change Could Be Critical Resource for Counties

MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler yesterday testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 503 Environment – Office on Climate Change – Established with amendments. This bill would establish the Office on Climate Change in the Office of the Governor designed to ensure the State is taking actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

From the MACo Testimony:

HB 503 establishes an Office on Climate Change required to (1) facilitate the implementation of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s recommendations; (2) ensure state agencies address climate change; (3) perform research and investigations into climate change topics identified by the Commission; (4) assist local government in developing climate change plans; and (5) report to the Governor and General Assembly on State actions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Counties are on the front line of the effects of climate change, especially sea level rise and saltwater intrusion. As counties continue to combat climate change in a variety of ways, state support can be a valuable asset. Many counties do not have one department dedicated to climate change or sustainability, but those that do report highly of its effectiveness in coordinating larger efforts and providing support to the rest of the local government. The State should provide research and guidance to counties to plan and develop local actions that address the impacts of climate change in a way that best serves their residents.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.