MD Executive Order 01.01.2014.14: Strengthening Climate Action in Maryland

The “Strengthening Climate Action in Maryland” Executive Order from Governor Martin O’Malley expands the Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s membership, mission, and responsibilities. The 2014 Executive Order builds upon O'Malley's 2007 EO which first established the Commission, stating that more must be done to achieve the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland, and to prepare State and local governments as well as residents for the likely health, environmental and socio-economic effects of climate change. The EO notes that climate impacts already experienced by Maryland include sea level rise of more than one foot in the last century; increasing water temperatures in the Chesapeake Bay; more rain and flooding in the winter and spring and less in the summer; and more water shortages. 

In 2007, 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. The Commission, then made up of 16 State agency heads and six members of the General Assembly, released the Maryland Climate Action Plan (Comprehensive Strategy for Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change) in 2008. As directed by the 2014 EO, the Commission will grow to include 25 members of various state departments, local government, representatives of the business community and non-profits organizations.


This Executive Order expands the tasks of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change to specifically consider vulnerable populations. Working group actions must address “the challenge that low income and otherwise vulnerable communities will likely be disproportionately impacted by climate change.”


The EO reestablishes the Scientific and Technical, GHG Mitigation, and Adaptation and Response Working Groups of the Climate Commission. Some of the actions of the working groups to be prioritized include:

- Developing broader public/private and federal/state/local partnerships to better mitigate the causes and address the consequences of climate change, and to better communicate with and educate citizens about the urgency of the challenge and options to address it

- Addressing the challenge that low income and otherwise vulnerable communities will likely be disproportionately impacted by climate change

- Assessing the impacts that climate change will likely have on the State’s economy, revenues, and investment decisions

- Delivering tools and assistance to local governments to support community-scale climate vulnerability assessments and the development and integration of specific strategies for enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change into local plans and ordinances

The EO directs all State agencies to review State planning, regulatory, and fiscal programs to recommend and identify actions to more fully integrate the considerations of Maryland’s GHG reduction goal, and the impacts of climate change - including sea level rise, increased precipitation and temperature, and extreme weather. 

The Commission will report to the Governor and General Assembly on or before November 15th of each year, beginning November 15, 2015, on the status of the State’s effort to address climate change, including future plans and recommendations for legislation.  


Publication Date: November 19, 2014

Related Organizations:

  • State of Maryland


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Resource Types:

  • Executive order

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