The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is urging Maryland legislators to support a bill during this year’s General Assembly session that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable the state to plant millions of trees. The Maryland Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing on the Climate Solutions Now Act at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28. The hearing is expected to extend into the afternoon.
The bill (SB414 and HB583) requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2030, electrify the state’s vehicle fleet, and ensure new state buildings are solar ready. It would also direct $15 million in annual funding from the state’s Bay Restoration Fund to plant 5 million trees during the next decade, including 500,000 trees in underserved, urban areas.
In advance of the first hearing on the bill, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Maryland Executive Director Josh Kurtz issued the following statement:
“The damage from climate change is being felt across Maryland. We’re seeing historic floods, loss of farmland due to saltwater intrusion, and sweltering heat islands in cities. This bill has the potential to drive bold action in Maryland to reduce this damage and make meaningful inroads against this compounding crisis.
“Reducing greenhouse gases and planting millions of new trees will result in cleaner water, cleaner air, and a more beautiful Maryland. That’s the state we should want to give to the next generations. We urge legislators to support the Climate Solutions Now Act.”
More info: Maryland must take drastic action to limit climate change, this legislation is it – Baltimore Sun, Jan. 26, 2020