County’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decreased 30 Percent Over 15-Year Period

Montgomery County’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased 30 percent from 2005 to 2020, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) GHG emission inventories.

This decrease came despite the county’s 13 percent growth in population, or roughly 130,000 added residents, in those 15 years.

A cleaner grid, decreased commercial electricity energy intensity and reduced vehicle miles traveled per person were major contributors to the decrease in emissions, while population growth, commercial space, and hydrofluorocarbons increased emissions.

The inventory also revealed that 3.97 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent were reduced from 2005 to 2020, which is the same as taking 773,000 homes off the grid for a year.

During the 15 year period, “third-party certified green buildings increased from 10 to 799 and County grid-connected renewable energy systems, including rooftop solar installations, grew from about 200 in 2005 to more than 11,600 in 2020,” per the Montgomery County government press release.

Montgomery County plans to make this decrease higher in the future with their Climate Action Plan. Completed in June 2021, this plan aims to decrease GHG emissions 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035.

“We are continuing to make progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Montgomery County, but we still have a long way to go to reach our goals,” said Climate Change Officer and Acting Director of the Department of Environmental Protection Adriana Hochberg in the press release.

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