Testimony: Climate Solutions Act
Our testimony in support of SB926: Climate Solutions Act
SB 926 – Climate Solutions Act of 2020
Maryland’s reliance on polluting fuels puts our health and safety at risk. Our state energy policy must conserve more energy, use the energy we have wisely and efficiently, and rely only on sources of energy that are clean, renewable and tread lightly on our planet. We support SB 926, the Climate Solutions Act, because it improves upon our state’s current plan and puts us on a better path to reach these goals.
Because scientists agree that we must stop burning virtually all fossil fuels by mid-century to tackle climate change, Environment Maryland is committed to reducing our state’s global warming emissions to zero quickly as possible. But we know that our leaders in Washington, D.C., are moving in the wrong direction. That’s why state leadership, through measures like the Climate Solutions Act, are so important.
Maryland’s current goal is a 40% reduction by 2030 based on 2006 levels. SB926 adopts the IPCC’s recommended emissions reduction targets of 60% by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2045.
From requiring rooftop solar on all new buildings with at least 20,000 square feet of roof space to electrifying our state’s vehicle fleet, this plan includes modest, but detailed expectations for energy efficiency, electric vehicles, new buildings, and other targets. In order to succeed in the emissions reductions, we will ultimately need a thorough and concrete plan.
With every day, it becomes even more clear that the impacts of global warming are accelerating. 2019 was hotter than any previous year in human history, breaking records last set in 2018 and 2017. We’re feeling the effects – from severe flooding across the state and more frequent red-ozone days, to increasingly powerful storms and droughts throughout the U.S. and world.
Globally, we must reduce emissions from all sources to zero – ideally within the next 25 years. The Mid-Atlantic states are in a position to do much more, and we should. We need to take further action to increase energy efficiency, clean up our electricity, our transportation system, our buildings and our industries.
Our state’s current reduction framework does not come close to accomplishing the recommended cuts in emissions that we need in order to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.
We have the opportunity this session to put us on a path to a better future. A future with clean air and a livable climate. A future with efficient public transit, solar power, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. We urge you to vote favorably on SB 926 because we believe that this bill will lead to that future.