ISSUES

Climate

Maryland’s Climate, Our Economic Future

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From the farmlands and waterways of the Eastern Shore to our main streets throughout Central Maryland, to the mountains of Garrett County – Maryland has incredible natural resources that make our state a great place to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, climate change, which continues to pose a tremendous threat to our state, has cost us $10 billion over the past decade, and is expected to cost us $19 billion in real estate damage alone this century. It is also causing increasingly severe storms, worsening pollution, poorer air quality, and more frequent extreme heat events, burdening low-income communities and communities of color the most. Once a national leader on climate change, Maryland continues to fall behind, putting our health, safety and economic future at risk.

As Maryland’s next Governor, Wes will re-establish Maryland as the national and global leader we should be by setting aggressive clean energy and emissions reductions standards, partnering with local leaders to combat the effects of climate change, and build a more resilient Maryland. His plan will:

  • Employ an entire-government and stakeholder-inclusive process whereby government agencies, local leaders and climate experts work hand-in-hand to solve our greatest challenges.
  • Prioritize environmental justice for the low-income communities and communities of color facing the worst effects of climate change by taking action to address extreme heat, improve access to cleaner public transit, increase tree canopy cover to reduce pollution and cool the climate, and ensure equitable access to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.
  • Ensure that Maryland generates 100% clean energy by 2035 by reducing energy consumption and the burden on the grid, supercharging investments in wind and solar developments, and investing in battery storage research and development to quickly bring new technologies to market.
  • Reduce 60% of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 through clean energy generation targets, incentivizing electrification of vehicles and public transit, supporting more sustainable agriculture and forestry practices and reducing consumption.
  • Ensure Marylanders of all backgrounds benefit from the tens of thousands of new jobs in the green economy by increasing access to green registered apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs and partnering with organized labor organizations to recruit and train workers.
  • Preserve the Chesapeake Bay and protect our waterways by fully funding the Bay Restoration Fund, fighting to hold neighboring states accountable to reduce pollution, investing in storm and wastewater treatment upgrades, and partnering with industries to reduce pollutants and emissions.
  • Combat sea level rise and recurrent flooding by constructing and replacing sea walls, creating buffers with natural infrastructure, and piloting programs to inject water underground to prevent land subsidence. 
  • Appoint a Chief Sustainability, Mitigation, and Resilience Officer to ensure strong public-private collaboration, measure our progress and ensure accountability to our goals.