Maryland and Virginia Governors' OpEd on Climate Change
From the Editorial:
In our home states of Maryland and Virginia, we are experiencing rising seas, more extreme weather events, regular high-tide flooding and a changing Chesapeake Bay. That’s why Maryland has become a leader in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and passed a law to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent, creating a model for others to follow. Maryland also has an active, bipartisan Commission on Climate Change and is a leader in climate resilience and preparedness, as well as championing green infrastructure, open space, and a climate academy for local officials and citizens. Recently, the state has announced its intention to ban the manufacture and use of hydrofluorocarbons, a super-polluting greenhouse gas. And just to the south, Virginia has begun the process to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030 and recently announced its intention to significantly reduce emissions of methane — a greenhouse gas that is more than 80 times more damaging than carbon dioxide in the short term. Virginia also issued an executive order last month detailing steps to address extreme weather, including the creation of a Coastal Resilience Master Plan to protect private property and critical public assets, using nature-based infrastructure whenever possible. Our states will continue to develop our clean- and renewable-energy supplies. We will reduce emissions from fossil fuels. And we will make plans to adapt and protect our citizens and our coastlines. These steps will help slow climate change, but we need help. We call on leaders of all political persuasions to get to work and cooperate across aisles and across borders — both national and international — to meet the challenge of climate change.