CCS Releases Policy Review of Maryland’s 2019 Draft Plan for Greenhouse Gas Reductions

CCS Releases Policy Review of Maryland’s 2019 Draft Plan for Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Annapolis, Maryland, December 19, 2019. At the request of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Climate Xchange, The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) conducted a policy review of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act: 2019 GGRA Draft Plan (Draft Plan) released by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) in October 2019. The review is based on generally accepted guidelines for policy and regulatory impact analysis as well as CCS’s 15-year experience developing and analyzing over 20 comprehensive, multi objective, stakeholder-based climate action plans in the United States along with plans for low carbon development, low emissions development strategies, and Nationally Determined Contributions in 20 nations and over 40 subnational jurisdictions.

The review finds that the Draft Plan provides a multi sector framework with sector level actions to address legislatively mandated state greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions but a relatively low level of confidence that proposed actions would meet Maryland’s 2030 goal and excludes pathways for 2050 climate stabilization scenarios altogether. It needs improvements in its level of ambition, transparency, stakeholder involvement, and inclusion of key measures in the transportation and energy sectors, which represent 80 percent of all Maryland GHG emissions. The Draft Plan does not appear to have exercised the necessary steps to mitigate potential macroeconomic impacts or optimize policies for economic growth and should be considered a starting point for further development. 

As part of its support for subnational governments and stakeholders worldwide, CCS has provided a variety of technical and facilitative support to the state of Maryland and its stakeholders since 2007 for the development, analysis, and implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation action plans.