Ways to help tackle climate change in Maryland’s advances – CBS Baltimore

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – A climate change action took place in Maryland on Tuesday to advance the state’s current goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 40 percent in 2006 to 60 percent. % by 2030.

The Senate Tax and Budget Committee voted to send the bill to the full Senate, which is expected to pass the legislation later this week.

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The law takes many steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, from increasing the state’s electric vehicle fleet, requiring large buildings to reduce emissions and helping communities not significantly impacted by change climate.

Last week, the Senate Education, Health, and Environment Committee made a significant change to the measure to no longer require newly built buildings to use electricity for heating and hot water, instead oil and natural gas. The change was made after strong opposition from the construction industry.

Instead, the Maryland Public Service Commission will study the impact of such electrification and the investments that will be needed, should the state decide to go in that direction later. A separate study by the Building Code Administration at the Maryland Department of Labor will examine the technical side of effectively moving in that direction.

The measure also addresses existing large buildings that are more than 25,000 square feet (2,323 square meters) with the goal of reducing total emissions from them by 30 percent by 2035, although K-12 schools, financial Historic properties and agricultural buildings will be exempt. It also includes a goal of achieving net-zero emissions for those buildings by 2040, although the bill contains a December 31, 2029 shutdown provision that would require lawmakers to re-approval to keep that timeline.

The bill also comes with about $24 million in mandatory spending, for at least the first years. That figure includes $12 million a year in total funding for school systems to design and build net zero-emissions schools. It also includes $5 million in funding for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to improve energy efficiency. Another $5 million a year will go to the Climate Catalyst Investment Fund to promote environmental justice and promote increased capital investment to cut emissions.

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The measure, which was stalled last year during the Maryland General Assembly, seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, meaning at least as much carbon is removed from the atmosphere as what is emitted. .

While the full measure was not passed last year, lawmakers approved part of a package to plant 5 million trees statewide over 10 years, including many in urban areas. . On Tuesday, Senator Paul Pinsky said $10 million has been set aside this year to plant trees. The senator said he had just learned that the requests had come in the amount of $14 million.

“So it’s really oversubscribed, which I think is a very good thing,” Pinsky, a Prince George County Democrat who is the main sponsor of the Senate measure, told fellow members of the Senate. his career in the Senate. “I think it’s great news that people have responded to this, so I think that’s the first step.”

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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/08/measure-to-help-address-climate-change-in-maryland-advances/ Ways to help tackle climate change in Maryland’s advances – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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