HB0514/SB0258 Maryland Commission on Climate Change

In May 2015, the Maryland legislature passed legislation (HB0514/SB0258) codifying the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.  The Commission is charged with advising the Governor and General Assembly on ways to mitigate the causes of, prepare for, and adapt to the consequences of climate change. The measure requires the Commission to establish specified working groups and for the Commission members and working group members to be appointed and the Commission to be convened on or before July 1, 2016. 

Maryland’s current Commission on Climate Change was first established in 2007, by Executive Order, to address the causes and results of climate change in the state, and from this analysis develop new benchmarks and timetables to address these issues. HB 514 reinstitutes much of what the Commission already does related to climate change adaptation and mitigation goals, while a new provision directs all state agencies to review planning, regulatory and fiscal programs in order to identify steps to incorporate the impacts of climate change and to meet Maryland's greenhouse gas reduction goal of cutting emissions 25 percent by 2020.

In addition, this legislation updates the established Commission to include more working groups and to require a new science-based report on sea-level rise projections from University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science by 2018. The Commission’s new working groups will focus on: science and technical issues; greenhouse gas mitigation; mitigation, adaptation and response to consequences of climate change; and education, communication and outreach.

In 2007, then Governor O'Malley established Maryland's first Commission on Climate Change to develop an action plan to address the drivers of climate change, to prepare for its likely impacts in the State, and to establish goals and timetables for implementation (Executive Order 01.01.2007.07). The Commission released the Maryland Climate Action Plan (Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change) in 2008 which provided both short-and long-term measures that State and local governments to undertake in planning for and adapting to sea level rise and coastal storms. The Commission released its Phase II Strategy for Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change on January 24, 2011, focused on building societal, economic, and ecological resilience.  

In November 2014, the Commission’s mission and membership were expanded by O’Malley’s Executive Order 01.01.2014.14: Strengthening Climate Action in Maryland.

 

 

Publication Date: June 1, 2015

Related Organizations:

  • State of Maryland
  • University of Maryland

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  • Laws

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