• Phil Webster

The Future of Climate Change

Originally shared as an email on 12/17/2021

Five Climate Justice and Environmental organizations have developed a Climate Platform that should form the basis of legislation for the 2022 Maryland General Assembly's 2022 session. The organizations are:

  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network

  • Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA)

  • Maryland League of Conservation Voters

  • Maryland Legislative Coalition Climate Justice Wing

  • Maryland Sierra Club

The Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland works in coalition with these organizations.

A webinar presenting the Climate Platform was presented on December 14th. A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube. Please take an hour or so and watch this video.

The watchwords of this plan are Urgency and Boldness. Urgency due to the continuing and accelerating climate impacts such as the recent tornados in Kentucky, heat waves in the Northwest, drought in California and the Southwest and fires in California. Boldness because we have no time to lose.

The 2022 Maryland Climate Platform will set clear goals AND specific plans to obtain the goals WHILE centering equity for all Marylanders. The goals are to:

  • Reduce emission of Greenhouse Gases by 60% (compared to 2006 emissions) in 2030

  • Be net-zero by 2045

  • Revise methane accounting practices to estimate indirect emissions.

The specific plans will tackle the highest emitting sectors, energy, buildings and transportation; while centering on equity. Additional details are in the video above.

After last year's failure to pass the Climate Solutions Now Act, members of the General Assembly received a lot of pressure to pass comprehensive legislation in 2022. Chairman Kumar Barve of the House Environment and Transportation Committee and Chairman Pensky of the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee have responded with a plan to pass comprehensive legislation this year. Each house will use different strategies, similar to last year's Police Reform Legislation. Chairman Pensky will introduce one omnibus bill in the Senate, while the House will have several bills, to be introduced by various Delegates. Assuming that all bills pass their respective Houses, they will then be reconciled and presented to the Governor.

There is an additional twist due to the Maryland elections occurring this year. The reconciled bill must be presented to the Governor in time to force a veto (if he so decides) early enough in the session for the General Assembly to override the veto. If the Assembly fails to accomplish this, Climate Legislation is dead for the current year.

This puts great urgency on us as grassroots organizations to lobby our legislators. Get ready for a wild ride this session!

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