Maryland wants to rely 100% on clean energy by 2035, “net zero” by 2045

28 December 2023- The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) today submitted its Climate Pollution Reduction Plan to Governor Wes Moore and the Maryland General Assembly outlining the policy actions required to reach the state’s ambitious climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent from 2006 levels by 2031, achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2035, and reaching net zero emissions by 2045.

“This plan provides the blueprint we need to reach our climate goals,” said Secretary Serena McIlwain. “We know that ending climate pollution will not be easy. We are committed to implementing this plan with the help of citizens, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and businesses, because we are all in this together. Maryland will lead the transition to the green economy and leave no one behind.”

The new policies in the plan reduce emissions while generating up to $1.2 billion in public health benefits, according to the state’s findings.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Completing the transition away from coal-fired power plants
  • Scaling renewable infrastructure, including solar, wind and battery power
  • Providing more incentives for consumers to choose electric when they are ready to replace vehicles and expanding available charging infrastructure
  • Advancing energy efficient retrofitting of 9,000 existing buildings and helping consumers electrify their homes by switching to heat pumps, electric water heaters and electric appliances
  • Electrifying school buses, transit buses and government fleet vehicles

Maryland has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions faster than almost any other state, achieving a 30 percent reduction in statewide emissions from 2006 levels by 2020. In 2022, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Climate Solutions Now Act, establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals in the nation. In June 2023, MDE released Maryland’s Climate Pathway Report with modeling and policy options provided by the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability. Seven listening sessions were held across the state to gather feedback from the public.

MDE will build on this momentum to deliver a series of progressive emission reduction plans and updated inventories through 2045, with an increasing emphasis on implementation and progress tracking. Under the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program, the state’s Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) is due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 1, 2024, with a competitive implementation grant application due on April 1.