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Resource Conservation

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

State Climate Plan

Maryland’s Climate Action Plan includes two land use adaptation strategies to guide state-level adaptation planning efforts. The first strategy, released in 2008, addresses the impacts associated with sea-level rise and coastal storms. The second strategy, released in 2011, addresses changes in precipitation patterns and increased temperature and the likely impacts to human health, land uses like agriculture and forest, water resources, population growth and infrastructure. Planning works with partner state agencies, including Natural Resources and Environment, to determine how to help local governments plan for the impacts of climate change on Maryland cities, infrastructure and natural resources to reduce the vulnerability of residents, the economy, and natural resources.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan

Greenhouse gas emissions are steadily increasing due to development and the burning of fossil fuels for transportation and electricity. In 2009, Maryland’s General Assembly passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act directing the state to develop a plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases 25 percent by 2020.

Planning is working with other state agencies on transportation and land use actions, such as developing high-density, low-impact communities.

Transit-Oriented Development

Successful transit-oriented development (TOD) creates walkable, dense, mixed-use neighborhoods and supports that development with an efficient transportation system. TOD provides an important strategy to reduce vehicle trips and associated greenhouse gases that contributes to climate change, encourage economic development and promotes sound growth pattrerns.

Sea-Level Rise

Recent estimates for sea-level rise in Maryland suggest a rise of approximately two feet over 50 years, and as much as 3.7 feet by 2100. In response, the General Assembly in 2014 passed HB615 creating the Coast Smart Council to adopt siting and design criteria for state capital projects to address the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal flooding.

The law also requires any state capital project involving the construction or reconstruction of a structure to comply with the siting and design criteria established by the Coast Smart Council. MDP will be a part of the council.