Equity, Sustainability and Resilience

Environmental Justice and Equitable Reinvestment

Climate Equity Framework Sparks Policy Debate in State’s Climate Plan – Maryland

Situation

Low-income and vulnerable communities in Maryland’s urban and rural areas are particularly vulnerable to impacts from climate change. In 2009, the Maryland Legislature passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA), which required that the state develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. However, stakeholders are concerned that the GGRA Plan does not include enough protections for vulnerable communities, especially communities of color and low-income communities.

Solution

With funding from the Town Creek Foundation in partnership with the Maryland Environmental Health Network, Skeo developed an equity assessment of the GGRA Plan. We facilitated discussions among regional climate change, health and environmental organizations to vet assessment findings and recommendations and identify best practices.

 

Outcomes

The final Planning for Climate and Energy Equity in Maryland Report provides state agencies, the Maryland Climate Change Commission, and the Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities with a groundbreaking climate and energy equity framework. The report provides more than 30 recommendations targeting ways that state programs can address social and environmental justice goals and ensure more equitable distribution of climate program benefits and protection from climate change impacts.

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