Climate Change and the 2021 Session

The Maryland General Assembly will consider a number of climate and environmental Justice issues in the 2021 session. Some highlights include reducing the Climate Solutions Now Act and the Transportation Safety and Investment Act. As bills are introduced, we will provide bill numbers and links to the actual bill text. 

 

Climate Solutions Now - HB 583 / SB 414

 

Move MD’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction mandate to net neutral by 2045.

  • The Maryland Commission on Climate Change recommends that Maryland achieve net neutrality by 2045

  • The bill will also require a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2006 levels by 2030

  • Current law requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and sets an aspirational goal of 80% by 2050

 

Invest resources in overburdened communities.

  • The Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities will determine what percent of all state funds invested in climate must be spent in overburdened communities

  • This provision is based on the New York Climate and Community Investment Act, which is widely considered the gold standard of state environmental justice policies

 

Protect Fossil Fuel Workers.

  • A work group comprised of IBEW, AFL-CIO, registered apprenticeships, construction laborers, and building trades will be formed

  • This work group will make recommendations for workforce development and training for displaced fossil fuel workers.

 

Enact simple, effective policies to reduce and mitigate our emissions, including:

  • Plant 5 million trees by 2030 with 10% (500,000) to be planted in underserved urban areas of the state

  • Increase EMPOWER efficiency gains from 2% to 3% a year

  • Fund bus and passenger vehicle electrification Require new state buildings to be net neutral, with some exceptions for schools

  • Require air monitoring at landfills

  • Require some emission reductions from large existing buildings

  • Require new state buildings to be net neutral, with exceptions for schools

 

Transportation Safety and Investment Act - HB 114 / SB 199

 

What does the bill do?

The Transit Safety and Investment Act will avert MTA’s funding cliff by providing an average annual increase over MDOT’s programmed levels to meet the $500 million required annually to meet the MTA capital needs.

 

How will funding help keep the system running? 

It will help maintain MARC safety systems, MARC switches, buses, light rail and subway tracks, bus shelters, and more.

 

What will the funding help improve? 

It will improve access to MARC and bus stations, expand bus shelters, and promote sustainability efforts. In October 2020, The Central Maryland region enacted a 25-year plan for more and better public transit. To do this, we first must fix the existing system now! 

​​Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard - Eligible Sources - HB 332

Would remove waste–to–energy and refuse–derived fuel (i.e. incineration) from the list of Tier 1 renewable sources for inclusion in meeting the renewable energy portfolio standard.

Other Climate Change and Environmental Justice bill of interest

For more information, please contact Climate Change Task Force Chair Phil Webster at ClimateChange@uulmmd.org.

The effectiveness of UULM-MD’s statewide advocacy work is impossible without the involvement of UUs and other Marylanders.

Email: info@uulmmd.org

Phone: 410-266-8044

Donations are Tax-Deductible 

For more information on all UU groups working for social justice, the UUSC provides the following link showing the UU Social Justice Universe.

Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland c/o Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, UULM-MD Copyright ©2019. All Rights Reserved.
333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, MD 21401 | 410-266-8044  |  info@uulmmd.org