GCC: Policy Considerations for the Maryland Commission on Climate Change

This memorandum from the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) seeks to help Maryland to document the important work it is already doing to prepare for the impacts of climate change and to provide recommendations for additional steps that the state could take, drawing on examples of practices from other states. In order to protect lives, health, property, economies, and natural systems, states need to adapt how they plan, regulate, and make investments to consider future climate change.

To develop this report, the GCC leveraged our State Adaptation Progress Tracking tool. The Center actively tracks the progress states are making in preparing for the impacts of climate change through our state progress-tracking tool. 

To support the Maryland's Adaptation and Response Working Group the Center helped capture the progress state agencies are making in implementing the state's two adaptation plans: (1) the Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change, Phase I: Sea-level rise and coastal storms (2008) and (2) the Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland's Vulnerability to Climate Change, Phase II: building societal, economic, and ecological resilience (2011).

The Center also provided examples of best practices from other states that Maryland could consider for spurring additional climate preparedness activities at both the state and local levels.

Georgetown Climate Center's adaptation recommendations consist of the following:

  • Expand the Adaptation Working Group to include other stakeholders (such as agriculture, local government, and business) or create a citizen advisory council.
  • Set risk-based climate change projections to provide a baseline for state and local decisionmaking.
  • Establish state research priorities and coordinate with academic researchers.
  • Expand the scope of the Coast Smart rules or develop other standards to address other non-coastal impacts of climate change, such as increasing precipitation and temperatures.
  • Consider climate change in all state plans.
  • Track state progress and develop indicators to assess the efficacy of adaptation initiatives.
  • Provide technical assistance to local governments and build local capacity.
  • Use state funding programs as a “carrot” to encourage local adaptation.
  • Provide funding or financing to support private adaptation.
  • Require or encourage local governments to consider climate change in local plans.
  • Ensure equity in adaptation efforts at all levels of government.
  • Adapt policies regarding the preservation of cultural and historic resources to account for climate change impacts.


Publication Date: January 31, 2017

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  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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