County Climate Plan Offers 86 Actions Including Energy, Transportation and Public Engagement Measures

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich released a Climate Action Plan with 86 measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 100% by 2035 compared to 2005 levels and help mitigate climate change risks.

“We’ve got to treat this kind of like we treated COVID[-19],” Elrich said during a press conference unveiling the plan Wednesday. “With the same level of seriousness and the same level of urgency.”

“Now, we saw that in COVID[-19], that when people understand the importance of their actions, did the right thing. And what we’re hoping happens with climate change now, is that we can help build an awareness of the importance of people’s individual actions, so that people will do the right thing,” he said.

Elrich said it is one of the most ambitious climate action plans in the world. The 86 actions are split into seven categories:

  • Clean energy (5)
  • Buildings (7)
  • Transportation (13)
  • Carbon sequestration (6)
  • Climate adaptation (20)
  • Climate governance (16)
  • Public engagement, partnerships, and education (19)

The county expects to make progress on 75 measures in the fiscal year 2022. Actions include:

Clean Energy:

  • Promote private solar systems
  • Advocate for a 100% renewable portfolio standard by 2030


  • Electrification requirements for existing commercial, public and residential buildings
  • Electrification incentives for existing buildings
  • Disincentivize/eliminate natural gas in new construction


  • Increase public transit
  • Constrain cars in urban county areas and limit major construction for new roads
  • Expand electric vehicle charging network
  • Advocate for vehicle carbon/gas tax or vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax

Carbon Sequestration:

  • Retain/increase forests
  • Retain/increase tree canopy
  • Restore/improve meadows and wetlands

Climate Adaptation:

  • Repair/enhance stormwater conveyance systems
  • Climate adapted housing incentives/subsidies
  • Green public spaces
  • Ban stormwater management requirement waivers
  • Update floodplain maps
  • Expanded community gardens
  • Study potential for buildings to flood and remedies

Climate Governance:

  • Build awareness about climate change among county government staff
  • Identify and create new county government positions to prepare for and respond to climate change
  • Have climate ambassadors in each county department
  • Assess/update county planning, policy and code to consider climate change impacts and prioritize needs of vulnerable residents
  • Incorporate climate considerations in budgeting processes
  • Create county government carbon fund for air travel

Public Engagement, Partnerships, and Education:

  • Conduct “vigorous” public outreach campaign to give public information on how to reduce emissions to adapt to climate change impacts
  • Create a climate change communication coalition
  • Make county websites focus more on climate change
  • Get ongoing input about climate action plan from community
  • Advocate for ongoing climate change education in school curriculum
  • Develop sustainability goals and incentives for schools
  • Encourage at-home climate change action


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Elrich Unveils Climate Plan ‘Among the Most Ambitious in the World’ to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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