Montgomery County Vows to Slash Greenhouse Gases – But How?

    In November 2017, Montgomery County, Maryland’s largest jurisdiction, boldly announced that it would take the lead in fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gases by 100 percent. That’s right: to zero by 2035.

    As a down payment on this pledge, county leaders said they would reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2027. Now, citizens are saying, show me the plan.

    This Saturday, activists and officials are coming together in a big Climate Emergency Town Hall to explore how the county can achieve these ambitious goals.

    Among the speakers will be Marc B. Elrich, the progressive county executive who won the general election by a landslide in 2018 following a close primary contest. He’s backed by a strongly environmentalist County Council.

    Also present will be policy experts, climate scientists and green activists. Some fireworks could ensue in the Q&A.

    Adrianna Hochberg, the assistant county executive in charge of the climate campaign, told Maryland Matters, “Climate change is like a ticking bomb; scientists say we have 12 years to take decisive action. Some concerned citizens say, ‘We’ve been talking long enough – we need action!’  But we have to plan our actions carefully.”

     While the county’s plan is ambitious, there are others like it around the country. California, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia have made similar pledges. Baltimore committed to the relatively modest goal of bringing greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below its 2010 level by 2020.

    And Maryland’s General Assembly called for half the state’s energy to come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030. Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) allowed the bill to become law without signing it – and says he wants to explore getting Maryland to 100 percent clean energy by 2040.

    The Town Hall will be Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  at the Civic Center in downtown Silver Spring, just off Veterans Plaza. Admission is free.