Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich on Monday released a list of proposals that, when put together, could cut the county’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027 and completely by 2035.
The “Climate Action Plan” includes 87 steps the county should take to reduce its emissions, and was developed by a group of more than 200 people, according to a press release from the county.
The recommendations range from new building requirements and a public education campaign to improved pedestrian and transit infrastructure.
Among the recommendations in the draft plan:
• creating building code requirements and incentives for builders to install green roofs
• expand transit service, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure
• restoring forests and wetlands
• prohibiting natural gas in new construction.
A virtual meeting about Elrich’s 130-page plan will be held on Tuesday, beginning at 6 p.m. The county expects to finalize the plan by spring.
“We are already feeling the impacts of climate change in our County — hotter summers, increased flooding events and more extreme storms,” Elrich wrote in the press release. “The strategies outlined in this plan address these impacts, prioritize those in our community who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and identify opportunities to enhance racial equity and improve our quality of life, all while reducing emissions.”
Some of the recommendations in the plan include:
• Advocate for and develop an opt-out Community Choice Energy program in which the county would purchase renewable energy on behalf of electricity customers
• Limit cars in urban areas and implement congestion pricing
• Advocate for a local vehicle carbon gas tax
• Support community-wide resident adoption of electric vehicles
• Pursue electric public buses and school buses
• Support telework and other transportation demand-management strategies
• Evaluate and update county government planning, policy and operations activities to reduce greenhouse gases, and to account for the risks of climate change impacts
• Integrate climate considerations into the budgeting process
• Conduct a public outreach campaign to empower the public with information on how to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change impacts
• Solicit public art installations to raise awareness about climate change
• Develop a standardized climate change curriculum and provide professional development for teachers.