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Title: Kamenetz Commits Baltimore County to Paris Climate Agreement

Calls on Governor Hogan to Commit Maryland as Well 

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz today joined government and business leaders as a signatory in support of the global commitment to fight climate change, known as the 2016 Paris Agreement. Last week, in defiance of the reality of climate change, President Trump announced withdrawal from the accord previously committed by President Obama. Under the agreement the United States would cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent by 2025.

"Climate change poses one of the most significant threats to our state’s longterm health and prosperity," said County Executive Kamenetz. "Unfortunately, President Trump would rather cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget than cut our country’s toxic emissions."

Kamenetz also urged Governor Hogan to commit Maryland to the climate accord standards, by joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan climate advocacy coalition of state governors throughout the country. The Alliance agreement would commit Maryland to further develop and strengthen Maryland's current Climate Action Plan, and require sharing of information and best practices.

"Marylanders have long considered protection of the environment a sacred trust," continued Kamenetz. "While President Trump endangers our state, our country and our planet, Governor Hogan refuses to take further action."

Kamenetz officially signed on the petition and urged Hogan to do the same.

Under Kamenetz's leadership, Baltimore County has made significant efforts to reduce the County's "carbon footprint." In 2016, Kamenetz signed an Executive Order establishing a goal to reduce County electricity consumption by 15 percent within five years in County government buildings, pumping stations and streetlights. The Order also sets the goal of utilizing renewable energy sources to generate or displace at least 20 percent of the County’s electric demand by 2022.

As part of that initiative, the County will install solar panel fields at closed landfills and other unusable land that will generate 21 megawatts of power and save taxpayers $20 million in avoided costs over 25 years.

Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works has already made significant strides in lowering the County’s electricity usage through a number of initiatives including converting traffic signals to LED bulbs, requiring all new developments to use LED streetlights and requesting that BGE systematically convert leased streetlights to LED bulb. The County has also installed variable speed drives on sewer pump station motors to reduce energy consumption and save money. In addition, a Countywide GPS routing program for fleet vehicles is saving gas and reducing carbon emissions.


 
 
Revised October 16, 2020               
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