Plenty of Opportunities to Engage on County Climate Activities this Fall!

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Climate News

Covering the latest climate news in Montgomery County, MD

Electric buses are a critical part of the County’s strategy to use innovative technology to reduce fuel consumption, cut emission of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases and reduce the environmental impact of the County’s fleet -- County Executive Marc Elrich

Thursday, September 24, 2020 | Department of Environmental Protection

IgCC code book cover

Comment on Adoption of Green Building Codes by 10/5

The Department of Permitting Services (DPS) has submitted the 2018 International Green Construction Codes (IgCC) proposed Executive Regulations to the August 2020 issue of the Montgomery County Register. Improving the efficiency of new and existing buildings is a critical step that the County seeks to take to meet its GHG reduction goals. Adoption of the 2018 IgCC will be an important tool in the County’s multi-faceted approach to achieve net zero energy buildings. Written comments can be submitted to DPS until October 5, 2020. Learn more here.

Elrich Seeks Applicants for Climate, Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee

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County Executive Elrich is seeking volunteer candidates for the County’s Climate, Energy, and Air Quality Advisory Committee. All members must be technically knowledgeable and interested in climate change, energy, and air quality, and individuals with professional experience, education, and knowledge in these fields are particularly encouraged to apply. All members must be Montgomery County residents. The application deadline is October 9--don’t delay!

Calling all Artists and Climate Justice Activists to Enter the Climate Change Plan Art Contest

climate art

We need YOUR photographs, drawings, videos, poems, digital art and memes (yes, we mean it, memes), to help make Montgomery County’s climate change plan more engaging and accessible. The Climate Change Plan Art Contest seeks to use art to educate the public about the connection between our daily lives, our communities, and a changing climate.  Entries in the art contest may be featured on Montgomery County’s climate change plan and other County materials. Winners of the Climate Change Plan Art Contest will receive $100! Deadline for the contest is January 31, 2021. Early submissions encouraged. More details here.

Summer Resilience Ambassadors Program Wraps Up

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Montgomery County’s Climate Planning team, in partnership with Vision Zero, piloted a Resilience Ambassador program this summer. A team of five paid youth Resilience Ambassadors were hired as part of the “COVID Corps” through the Department of Recreation. Ambassadors spent six weeks connecting with frontline communities, gathering information about residents’ experiences with health emergencies like COVID-19 and the climate crisis. These communities are disproportionately impacted by transportation injuries/fatalities, energy cost burdens and pollution exposure because of structural and systemic barriers. Find out more here.

Report Examines Tree Canopy, Emissions in County

Tree Canopy

In August 2020, a group of environmental experts, in collaboration with DEP, released a report on County emissions and tree coverage for the years 2011-2016.  Their findings show a decrease in average annual emissions and increase in tree canopy compared with years 2001-2010. The report came out of Montgomery County’s participation as a pilot jurisdiction to help ICLEI develop an appendix to the U.S. Community Protocol for GHG Emissions Inventories. The full report can be read here.

Electric Buses are Here!

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On September 3, 2020, County officials launched the County’s first four Ride On electric buses with a ceremonial “unplug” event in Rockville. The buses were funded through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration and are estimated to save the county $150,000 a year in operating costs. Watch footage of the press conference following the launch or read more information in the press release.

Consultant Provides Updates on Climate Planning, Fields Questions

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This month, the County’s climate planning consultants provided a progress update. At the September 10 meeting, consultants explained how they are conducting vulnerability assessments and using modeling tools to predict possible pathways for the County to reach its goal of zero GHG emissions by 2035. The presentation was followed by questions and comments from workgroup members. If you missed the meeting, view a recording here. The draft climate plan is on track for issuance in November 2020 for public review and comment. As always, the Climate Team welcomes your feedback at the next Virtual Office Hour on October 15.

Montgomery County Wants YOU…to Vote and Take the Census!


It is not too late to do your civic duty! The 2020 US Census is still open, but time is running out. Your community needs your voice--submit your forms today and encourage others to do the same before the September 30, 2020 deadline. The Census is quick, easy, and available in 60 languages including Spanish, Amharic and Chinese!

To vote by mail in the November 3 general election you must request a ballot. The deadline to update your voter registration is October 13. Look up your registration status and find more information about voting on the Montgomery County Board of Elections website. And while you’re at it, consider volunteering to work at the polls this year!

DIY Project of the Month: Weatherproofing for Cold

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As temperatures drop, heating bills can spike, especially if your home isn’t adequately insulated. The good news? Conserving heat and saving money is easier than you think. With a few quick DIYs, you can cut your consumption heading into winter. Check out Montgomery County DEP’s YouTube energy playlist for Home Energy Hacks -- learn how to insulate electric outlets, change a furnace filter, and adjust your hot water heater.

Green Jobs Board

Find a job that matches your ideals on Montgomery County’s Green Jobs Board. Recent openings include a part-time position with 500 Women Scientists, an executive director at Climate First!, and a research analyst for ACEEE.

Job Opportunities

Climate News Round-Up


To listen to:
Waste Land (Planet Money)
Could migration be a solution to the climate crisis? (PRI)
Floodlines: The Story of an Unnatural Disaster (The Atlantic)
Equity and Electricity: Race Gap in Household Energy Use (Resources Magazine)

To read:
I Need You to Care That Our Country Is on Fire (New York Times)
Pandemic-related cooking and eating habits could help curb food waste… (Washington Post)
Why Washington and Baltimore are different colors from Space (Greater Greater Washington)
Climate Change Policies: Bigger Picture Policies (Solar Tribune)

To watch:
Benchmarking Ambassador Training Recording (Montgomery County DEP)
A Drop’s Life (DC Water)

Upcoming Events

Saturdays-October | Virtual Symposium
2020 Environmental Justice & Health Disparities Symposium

September 25 | Virtual Symposium
Art & Activism: Nourishing Conscious Communities

September 26 | Movie Screening
Drive-in screening: A Inconvenient Sequel

September 27 | Webinar
Climate Week: Forum on African Voices

September 28 - October 4 | Live Virtual Experience
National Solar Tour

September 30 | Meeting
MCCC Education, Communication and Outreach (ECO) Working Group

September 30 | Webinars
Intersectionality and climate justice: An emancipatory research agenda
MOD Fare Integration for Transit
Low-Carbon Small Business and Post-COVID Recovery

October 5 - October 31 | Virtual Event
Solar United Neighbors National Solar Congress

October 5 - October 9 | In-Person Events
Active Aging Week FitKit Pickup & Light Bulb Exchange

October 6 | Meeting
MCCC Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Working Group Meeting

October 7 | Virtual Event
Montgomery County Climate Action Plan Update

October 8 | Webinar
Planning and Design for Getting to Zero in Schools Conversation Café: Grappling with Racism, Diversity and Justice in the Environmental Movement

October 15 | Virtual Event
Climate Planning Virtual Office Hour

October 15 | Webinar
Climate Displacement & Anti-Displacement Strategies

October 17 | Virtual Workshop
Climate Solutions Workshop for Educators

October 22 | Webinar
Climate Migration...What can we Learn from Other Places?