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Ball Announces Major Commitments to Climate Action

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Howard County Executive Calvin Ball recently announced a series of environmental commitments intended to move the county forward in environmental sustainability, reduce emissions and stem the causes of climate change. At the event, Ball announced the following actions.

  • Howard County will be a signatory of the “We Are Still In” declaration, a promise to world leaders that Americans will not retreat from the global pact to reduce emissions and stem the causes of climate change.
  • Howard County is the first county in the nation to formally accept the United States Climate Alliance’s Natural and Working Lands Challenge, which calls on jurisdictions to reduce emissions and increase carbon sequestration.
  • For its strong commitment to climate action, Howard County has been named a Maryland Smart Energy Community by the Maryland Energy Administration.
  • Expansion of the curbside food scraps collections area that will include almost 10,000 additional homes to the program.

“It will be on all of us to continue to lead by example in the fight against climate change,” said Ball. “As your County Executive, I pledge bold leadership to make Howard County a safe and healthy place for generations to come. The Maryland Commission on Climate Change (MCCC) reports that our state is already seeing the effects of a rapidly changing climate, posing a threat to the health, security and prosperity of our communities. From these threats, there is also opportunity ― opportunity to support a green economy in Howard County where our residents receive training and gain critical skills that enable them to be successful in the green jobs of the future.”

The Paris Agreement, now signed by more than 180 countries, is a landmark climate agreement calling for global action, with a specific goal of keeping temperature rise this century below two degrees Celsius. In 2017, President Trump indicated his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Almost immediately, a bi-partisan coalition of mayors, governors, and business leaders declared they were “still in” ― steadfast in their commitment to the global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the effects of climate change.

Howard County has signed on to the declaration and will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of County government operations 45% below 2010 levels by the year 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2050. This will be accomplished by reducing county energy use, lowering its fuel consumption, and increasing renewable energy generation on County property. To learn more, visit www.wearestillin.com/organization/howard-county-md.