9.7% Decrease in Maryland’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 2006
Estimated Emissions (Million Metric Tons)
2013 Actual vs. Business As Usual
Metric Tons Reduced
Estimated Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Projected vs. Actual
Nitrogen Oxides Tons per Year driven down by 2009 Healthy Air Act
Sulfur Oxides Tons per Year driven down by 2009 Healthy Air Act
Are We Meeting Our Goals?
Reducing greenhouse gases is essential to protect Maryland’s health and environment. If we took no actions greenhouse gas emissions would grow each year from 107 M tons of CO2-equivalent in 2006 to more than 135 M tons by 2020. The O’Malley-Brown Administration set a goal to drive down greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 to ensure Maryland remains a clean, sustainable place to live for generations to come.
Greenhouse gas emissions are notoriously difficult to measure, but having a good estimate is crucial to monitoring progress on this goal. To arrive at the amount of emissions in the baseline year, the State conducted a detailed inventory of greenhouse gasses in 2006. The inventory was conducted again for 2011, and according to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, will be repeated for 2014 and 2017. Projected emissions under a "business as usual" (BAU) scenario were estimated based on the 2006 inventory and projected forward using a protocol established by the Environmental Protection Agency that considers economic projections and policies that were in place in 2006. The BAU estimates were revised in 2011 due to changes in the economy. It is important to bear in mind that a BAU projected emissions inventory is just a forecast; future emissions could be lower or higher. The annual actual emission estimates for 2006 and 2011 represent the results of the inventories, while estimates for the intervening years were estimated by using three surrogates as indicators of emissions: energy, transportation and residential, commercial and industrial fuel combustion. These three sectors account for over 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland.
Actions Taken Towards Goal
- Maryland has implemented one of the most proactive greenhouse gas emissions goals in the nation.
- In October 2014, Maryland was named a top ten state for energy efficiency for the 4th year in a row.
- In October 2013, Maryland joined with seven other states in a pledge to put 3.3 M zero-emission vehicleson the road by 2025.
- Climate Change Maryland, a multi-agency effort to slow climate change in Maryland, launched a video series in October to inform Maryland’s citizens and communities on the impacts of climate change on weather, pollution, economic vitality and more.
- In July 2013, the O’Malley-Brown Administration released the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan including 150 programs and initiatives to drive down greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020, generating $1.6 B in economic benefits and supporting over 37,000 jobs.
- In 2007, we strengthened a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requiring that 20% of all electricity in Maryland be delivered from renewable sources by 2022. Today we’ve increased the State’s solar energy capacity exponentially, from .1 MW in 2007 to 173 MW in 2013.
- In 2007, Maryland joined with 9 other states to create the Nation’s first power plant emissions cap and trade program, the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
- Together we have saved nearly one million metric tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere by enacting Clean Cars legislation in 2007, requiring more rigorous fuel economy standards for vehicles from model year 2011 and beyond.
- In 2008 we launched EmPOWER Maryland, an innovative energy conservation initiative designed to markedly reduce per capita electricity consumption in the State by 2015. To date, the EmPOWER program has saved more than 3.0 million MWh of wholesale electricity per year and offset more than 1.3 million metric tons of CO2.
- In 2011, we established an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council to accelerate the purchase and use of electric vehicles in the State. Today there are currently more than 220 Maryland EV Charging Stations throughout the State.
- We established a Commission on Climate Change in 2007, tasking the Commission with developing the State's first comprehensive Climate Action Plan. The Plan was released in 2008 and addresses the impacts of climate change through participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, increasing the state’s renewable energy portfolio and the adoption of the EmPOWER Maryland initiative.