Wes Moore’s latest executive order mandates entire government to submit Climate Implementation Plans to his office

05 June 2024- Governor Wes Moore today signed an executive order to advance Maryland’s Climate Pollution Reduction Plan. The order—one of the most comprehensive on climate change issued by a Maryland governor—directs a whole-of-government approach to address climate change, including requiring agencies to submit a Climate Implementation Plan by Nov. 1, action to propose new emissions standards, and the creation of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Climate.

“Climate action is about more than avoiding disaster. It’s about growing opportunity, and that’s what today is about,” said Gov. Moore. “The climate crisis didn’t start overnight. It will take time and decisive action for us to tackle it. But we can—and we will—win this moment. We will win because we work together, we will win because we tackle our goals with action, and we will win because we leave no one behind.”

In December 2023, the Maryland Department of the Environment released Maryland’s Climate Pollution Reduction Plan to support the goals of the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, which requires Maryland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent below 2006 levels by 2031 and reach net zero emissions by 2045. The Climate Pollution Reduction Plan estimates that the implementation of new climate policies will generate up to $1.2 billion in public health benefits, a $2.5 billion increase in personal income for Marylanders, and a net gain of 27,400 jobs between now and 2031.

In accordance with the order, all State agencies are required to consult the Maryland Department of the Environment to submit a Climate Implementation Plan to the governor by November 1. The report must include steps and a timeline for implementation for all required actions within each agency’s purview. Agencies are also required to consider Justice40 goals, initiatives, and funding to more comprehensively advance environmental justice.

The executive order also directs the Maryland Department of the Environment to take immediate action on climate change by proposing a zero-emission heating equipment standard regulation and a clean heat standard regulation, in addition to working with Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative states to establish a new regional cap for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants that align with Maryland and partner states’ 100% clean energy goals. 

“It’s no secret that we face significant challenges from climate change,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain. “Hotter summers, severe weather, flooding, increased asthma cases—especially among children in disadvantaged communities—all underscore the urgent need for action. This Executive Order is not just a call for action, but a vision for a brighter tomorrow.”

The order also calls for the Maryland Energy Administration to establish a framework for a clean energy standard to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035 and directs the Maryland Department of Transportation to undertake several measures to promote clean transportation.