December 14, 2021
Over 150 Marylanders join online to advocate for comprehensive climate legislation ahead of 2022 Maryland General Assembly session
Chair Barve and Chair Pinsky were a united front for bold, comprehensive climate action
Annapolis, MD — On Tuesday evening, over 150 Marylanders from across the state joined together for a launch to advocate and push for strong climate action from legislators in the upcoming legislative session. The online event was joined by House Environment and Transportation committee Chair Kumar Barve and Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Chair Paul Pinsky as they co-presented a comprehensive climate package that will be introduced in both chambers.
“The climate crisis is already here in Maryland. We see it in increased flooding that hurts our communities around the state and in more code red air days that hurt our kids in cities like Baltimore. Maryland was once on a strong path to becoming a national climate leader, with greenhouse gas reduction goals that were among the nation’s strictest. Our state can become a leader again if our elected officials commit to a comprehensive, strategic plan to address today’s climate challenges,” said Maryland LCV executive director, Kim Coble.
“Climate scientists have been clear that we need to cut emissions drastically and immediately. Our state emissions reduction goals need to be updated to match the science and we need a plan to reach them. Our platform takes on this challenge by tackling the top emitting sectors and building the groundwork for ongoing climate action that centers equity and empowers Marylanders.” said Chesapeake Climate Action Network Maryland Director, Victoria Venable
“Everyday Marylanders see the undeniable nightmarish consequences of burning fossil fuels all around us, and time is growing short to act. Maryland must pass major climate change legislation this year that addresses structural inequities and creates high quality green jobs. Now is the time to go big and rapidly electrify and power our homes, schools, and vehicles with clean renewable energy while investing in public transit and modernizing our grid,” said Josh Tulkin, Director, Maryland Sierra Club
“As a state that is particularly vulnerable to the ravages of climate change, it is past time to enact comprehensive climate legislation in Maryland. The cost of inaction rises every year as we lose coastline and farming lands, and we see more climate-related health problems and extreme weather damage. Maryland can become a green economy powerhouse and lead in innovation. We need to make bold changes now that will make our future brighter,” said Cecilia Plante of the Maryland Legislative Coalition – Climate Justice Wing.
“We are seeing the devastating impacts of not addressing climate more aggressively, especially here in Maryland. Worst of all, statistics are confirming the impact of climate on over-burdened, frontline communities with higher percentages of people of color. For example, Baltimore has the highest rates of death related to air quality and Prince George’s County was rated an “F”, for air quality, by the American Lung Association. To protect these communities from further harm we must begin to repair these communities and make direct investments in them. We have a tremendous opportunity this legislative session to be a leader, not only on climate, but also on making Maryland a leader on environmental justice,” said Environmental Justice Chair of the Maryland State Conference of NAACP, Staci Hartwell.
“To give our children and grandchildren a safer, healthier future we need to move off fossil fuels and shift to clean renewable sources of energy to power our buildings and transportation. It’s critical that our legislative leaders in Annapolis take action this year to set ambitious goals on emissions reductions and concrete plans to reach them,” said Johanna Neumann, Senior Director for Environment Maryland’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy.
“People of faith all across Maryland are acting on climate as a way to care for our neighbors. Congregations are choosing clean energy, going solar, installing electric vehicle chargers, and making houses of worship all-electric as an expression of our values. Now we need our legislators to do the same. For our health, for our communities, for our Common Home, we can and must pass comprehensive climate legislation in Maryland in 2022,” said Jonathan Lacock-Nisly, Director of Faithful Advocacy for Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA).
Event was sponsored by Maryland LCV, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club- Maryland Chapter, Maryland Legislative Coalition, Climate Justice Wing, Environment Maryland, Interfaith Power and Light (DC, MD, NoVA) and Maryland State Conference NAACP.
Transcript for the event can be downloaded here.