For too long, politicians have promised progress on the challenges of climate change. It’s more clear than ever that those promises have been hollow. From rising temperatures, to increased severe weather events and flooding across Maryland, the threat of climate change grows more pressing every day.
As Governor, John won’t just make promises to tackle the challenges of climate change — he will campaign and govern on meeting these goals. John has made it clear throughout his campaign that if we want to actually change things in Annapolis then we must campaign and win a mandate to take action on the most pressing issues facing Marylanders. From protecting and preserving the Chesapeake Bay, to ending the long standing inequities in environmental justice, to meeting the challenges of climate change head on, John is deeply committed to ensuring a whole of government approach to protect our environment and fight climate change.
John’s plan for a future in Maryland that mitigates the effects of climate change, creates good green jobs while shifting to renewable energy, reverses centuries long systemic injustice and protects the Bay is based on real achievable goals, with a clear roadmap to how we achieve each objective. John’s plan will invest in the long term future of our state by ensuring a carbon neutral future and the creation of a new green economy that lifts up everyone, especially the Black and brown families that are consistently left out of Maryland’s economic transformations.
Achieving Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2035
Between 2005-2017, Maryland led the country in reducing energy-related CO2 emissions all while the economy grew by nearly 18%. John will build on Maryland’s success and make our state a national leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In order to achieve the ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2035 Maryland will have to hit a benchmark of 60% reduction by 2030. Doing this will create massive opportunities for new good green jobs while requiring innovation and ambitious changes to our economy — particularly electricity, transportation, and buildings and homes.
Providing Good Green Jobs in the New Economy
The Climate Crisis presents Maryland with a unique opportunity to reimagine our economy and build a stronger, more sustainable, and inclusive future. John knows that to bring this promise to fruition we must take a holistic approach. We must find ways to address Climate Change across government agencies and lead by example by divesting the state’s pension fund from fossil fuels. Constructing a green economy will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and build wealth for Marylanders in every corner of our state.
John knows that this new Maryland economy must recognize the dignity of work from all its people and break down the structural barriers that have for far too long held back so many Black and brown entrepreneurs. But, it is not enough to just transition the current workforce, we must invest in education and workforce development to ensure Maryland’s youth are equipped to understand climate change, advance bold climate solutions, and succeed in the clean economy; and to ensure good clean economy jobs are accessible to Marylanders of color, low-income Marylanders, and others who have been historically underrepresented in good jobs.
Building Adaptable and Resilient Communities
Maryland communities are already beginning to feel the ravages of climate change. Marylanders are seeing the cost of inaction firsthand across the state. In the last 5 years, Ellicott City has been devastated with two 1000-Year floods that have taken lives and livelihoods. In Dorchester County, rising sea levels are threatening jobs, historical sites, and housing. Droughts have devastated Maryland farmers and left them with tough decisions about their crops. And, according to a 2016 report by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, increased heat waves in Baltimore City have led to higher levels of asthma.
The time to act is now. We must build adaptable and resilient communities. While we know that inland flooding, heat waves, and droughts will continue, we can make key investments in infrastructure, stormwater management, and green spaces to prepare Maryland for climate impacts.
Protecting And Restoring The Bay
A healthier Bay would be an economic boon to Maryland and the other five watershed states. Over the last three decades, Maryland and Virginia have suffered more than $4 billion in cumulative annual losses because of the decline of industries related to oyster harvesting. Further, the decline of crabs in the Bay between 1998 and 2006 has meant a cumulative loss of about $640 million to Maryland and Virginia. According to estimates from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Bay currently provides benefits of at least $107.2 billion annually to the six-state region, which would skyrocket by over $22 billion per year if the Foundation’s Bay health goals were reached, with $4.5 billion of that benefit going to Maryland.
With a watershed covering 64,000 square miles, we must protect the Bay and improve its health while protecting our vulnerable coastal communities from the effects of climate change.
From increased exposure to air pollution and environmental toxins to greater susceptibility to flooding and heat, communities of color and under-resourced urban communities suffer more from the impacts of climate change. John will prioritize advancing climate justice across all policies to address climate change and make investments in the communities impacted most.
John believes everyone deserves to live in a healthy and clean environment, no matter their income or zip code. Unfortunately, today there are wide gaps between neighborhoods in the quality of air, water, and soil Marylanders work and play in every day.