National Capital Region Climate Change Report

This report was prepared by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Climate Change Steering Committee (CCSC), comprised of officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  This report presents recommendations for regional action by proposing broad goals, identifying actions that will begin to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions, and setting in place a process to implement the regional framework as presented in this document.

In addition to existing adaptive measures in Maryland and Virginia, the CCSC recommends the analysis of the impacts to the region’s transportation infrastructure, buildings, and population living in low-lying areas, as well as to develop regional adaptation policies for emergency response planning. Chapter 8: 'Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change' provides an overview of these and other recommended adaptation strategies for the region. Here the report suggests that research is needed on the potential impacts of climate change; that university partners could research adaptation strategies leading to developing regional adaptation policies; and that a series of Regional Adaptation Workshops would be useful in sharing the findings of the adaptation research.

As delineated in this report, the COG's Board of Directors voluntarily adopted stringent goals for reducing the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. COG’s decision proposes to return to 2005 levels of regional greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. The mid-range goal is for a reduction of 20 percent below the 2005 levels by 2020, and the long-term goal is for a reduction of 80 percent below the 2005 levels by 2050.

Since publication, the Climate, Energy and Environment Policy Committee was created by the COG Board of Directors to provide leadership on climate change, energy, green building, alternative fuels, solid waste and recycling issues, and to help support area governments as they work together to meet the goals outlined in this report.

Publication Date: November 12, 2008

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