Maryland Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act

Location: Maryland | Client: Town Creek Foundation and the Maryland Environmental Health Network | Project Date: September 2015 – January 2016

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Planning for Climate and Energy Equity in Maryland

Project Description


Maryland’s most urban and rural communities have the fewest resources available to them, yet are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and disproportionate allocations of climate solution funds. In 2009, the Maryland Legislature passed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, requiring that the state develop and implement a plan that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. The Maryland Climate Change Commission advises the Governor on this plan. One of the Commission’s goals is “addressing any disproportionate impacts of climate change on low–income and vulnerable communities.”

A comprehensive look at the Act’s social justice benefits and impacts had not yet taken place. New climate change policies in the state provided an opportunity for the Maryland Climate Change Commission and the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities to take a closer look.


With funding from the Town Creek Foundation and a partnership with the Maryland Environmental Health Network, Skeo developed a policy-by-policy assessment of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. Skeo facilitated a conversation among regional climate change, health and environmental non-profit organizations to ground-truth recommendations and identify community needs and best practices.


Skeo developed a policy document – Planning for Climate and Energy Equity in Maryland – outlining a climate and energy equity framework that the Commissions and state agencies can use to assess the goals of any new policy or program in meeting the needs of vulnerable communities. The document provided more than 30 recommendations to enhance existing programs to better address social and environmental justice goals. The Commissions are using the document to prioritize goals and next steps.