Exciting Progress on Climate in Montgomery County this Summer!

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Climate News

Covering the latest climate news in Montgomery County, MD

Collectively, communities across the State of Maryland, the country and the world must tackle climate action at the scale that is necessary to curb the cataclysmic social, environmental and economic impacts of climate change.” 
- County Executive Marc Elrich during the public release of the Climate Action Plan 

Monday, July 19th, 2021 | Department of Environmental Protection

Climate Action Plan Release Event

Montgomery County Released its Climate Action Plan!

Following feedback from the community and subsequent revision of the Draft Climate Action Plan, Montgomery County released the finalized Climate Action Plan (CAP) on June 23rd. The plan outlines 86 climate actions to meet the County’s ambitious GHG emissions reduction goals -- addressing clean energy, buildings, transportation, carbon sequestration, climate adaptation, climate governance, and public engagement. In addition, the County also released the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Climate Work Plan, which describes the planned progress on 75 of the 86 actions in FY22. Read both the CAP and FY22 Work Plan here

The online release of the CAP was accompanied by a public event held at the Marian Fryer Town Plaza in Wheaton. Speakers included Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, County Council President Tom Hucker, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and Climate Change Coordinator Adriana Hochberg, and four members of the community: Omotola Fadeyi, Denisse Guitarra, Karen Metchis and Samuel Suraphel. Read more about the plan’s release here. 

CAP in the News

Cover of the Climate Action Plan

County Leaders Tout Climate Action Plan As One of Nation’s Most Aspirational (Bethesda Beat) 

Montgomery County Releases 86-step Climate Action Plan (WTOP News) 

County Climate Plan Offers 86 Actions Including Energy, Transportation and Public Engagement Measures (Montgomery Community Media) 

Montgomery Unveils Climate Action Plan (Conduit Street) 

County Climate Action Plan Unveiled: Focused On 7 Key Areas (Patch) 

Montgomery County Plan Would Achieve Net Zero Emissions 10 Years Earlier Than State Goals (Maryland Matters) 

Montgomery County’s Climate Action Plan (WDVM) 

Apply to Serve on the Climate, Energy, and Air Quality Advisory Committee

Stock image of individuals meeting around a table

Want to contribute to Montgomery’s climate action? The 15-member Climate, Energy, and Air Quality Advisory Committee (CEAQAC) is seeking technically knowledgeable and passionate applicants to fill five vacancies. The Committee advises the County Executive and County Council on policies and programs to reach goals for greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy issues, and air quality. The County encourages applicants of diverse backgrounds, professions, genders, geography, abilities, ethnicities, and ages to apply by August 6th. Learn more about the Committee and the application process here. 

Look Out For “Lemonade & LEDs” Lightbulb Exchanges

Montgomery Energy Connection Lightbulb Exchanges

This summer, Montgomery Energy Connection (MEC) is partnering with MCPL to hold “Lemonade & LEDs” events throughout the months of July and August. At various library branches, MEC will be setting up lemonade stands where you can trade your old incandescent and CFL lightbulbs for up to three free LEDs. Upcoming dates and locations can be found here. 

Join the Capital Area Solar Co-op Before August 31st

Capital Area Solar Co-op Logo

On April 1, 2021 Montgomery County joined two other counties and eight cities in launching the first ever Capital Area Solar Co-opan effort to promote residential solar installations. Through the non-profit Solar United Neighbors, co-op members receive support in the solar installation process, as well as a discounted group rate. Residents can join Maryland’s co-op until August 31st2021. Find out more here. 

Building Energy Performance Standard Public Hearing on July 20th

Commercial buildings

County Executive Elrich’s Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) legislation (Bill 16-21) was introduced during the County Council session on May 4th. A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 20th. Details of the public hearing can be found here. Committee work sessions will occur before holding the vote of the full council. 

BEPS is a key policy in reducing GHG emissions from the built environment, as highlighted in the Climate Action Plan. The policy will establish energy performance standards for existing commercial and multi-family buildings, while also expanding the number of buildings covered by benchmarking requirements. Read more about the proposed BEPS policy here

Resiliency Hub for Montgomery County’s LMI Residents

Solar on roof of St. Jude Regional Catholic School

St. Jude Regional Catholic School of Rockville has opened its doors as a resiliency hub under Maryland Energy Adminstration’s (MEA) Resiliency Hub Program after receiving a grant from MEA to fund energy upgrades. The hub will be a source of power for Montgomery County’s low-to-moderate income residents during power outages, providing health and safety support for the community. Plus, the hub is powered by a completely renewable energy system! More details here. 

A Spotlight on Summer Climate Opportunities: Camp Climatedu & More

Climatedu Camp ad

There are several virtual camps and workshops about the climate that you or your student can attend this summer. We would like to highlight a Montgomery County Program created and led by local students: Camp Climatedu! This opportunity is a 10-week online mini-course on climate science and sustainability for middle school and high school students. Sessions will be held every Wednesday, 4:30-6 pmfrom June 23rd through August 25th. Though it has already started, the camp website welcomes everyone to join. Learn more about Camp Climatedu, as well as other opportunities to learn about climate this summer here. 

Montgomery County Public Schools Held Sustainability Symposium

MCPS Sustainability Symposium Event Ad

Over 120 attendees, including secondary students, staff, and board members attended MCPS’s first-ever Sustainability Symposium on May 26, 2021. The virtual event included feedback from the Climate Youth Town Hall held in February 2021, meeting staff from the curriculum team and the new Division of Sustainability and Compliance, exploring actions that MCPS has taken to mitigate climate change, discussing new initiatives that the district plans to implement, and hearing from students on their ideas on how MCPS can do even more. Future symposium topics will include: student networking opportunities, living a more sustainable lifestyle, and providing input to climate change curriculum. MCPS will also be hosting a Youth Climate Summit in February 2022.

Helpful Resource: EV Charging Stations in Maryland

Highway sign image for EVs

Transitioning to electric vehicles will play a big role in reducing GHG emissions in Montgomery County, as well as around the world! According to the Maryland Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council (ZEEVIC), Maryland already has 34,841 registered electrical vehicles (EVs), 1,031 EV stations, and 2,708 charging outlets. ZEEIV has put together a helpful map locating charging stations and corridors throughout Maryland. Access this EV resource here. 

Green Jobs Board

Job Opportunities

Check out DEP’s Green Job Portal for open positions in climate and sustainability jobs! Opportunities include positions with the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Servicesthe Chesapeake Solar & Storage AssociationSolar United Neighbors, and many more. 

Climate News Round-Up


To read: The Region’s Long-range Transportation Plan Will Be Revamped to Prioritize Ways to Curb Climate Change (Greater Greater Washington) 

Bioenergy Devco Celebrates Opening of Maryland Anaerobic Digester (Conduit Street) 

Power of the Pulpit: MD. Religious Groups Addressing Climate Change (Maryland Matters) 

Codes for Climate Offers States and Cities a Path to Building Decarbonization (New Buildings Institute) 

Putting Equity Front and Center of Climate Change Solutions (RMI) 

Why the World Needs Better Climate Pledges (GreenBiz) 

The Green New Deal Does Not, Strictly Speaking, Exist (Route Fifty) 

Nowhere Is Ready for This Heat (Route Fifty) 

How to Build EV Charging for All (RMI) 

The Grid’s Big Looming Problem: Getting Power to Where it’s Needed (The Washington Post) 

National Renewable Energy Lab Report Shows Growing Potential for Geothermal Systems (Daily Energy Insider) 

To listen: More Highways, More Driving (Talking Headways) 

Handling Heat and Health as Climate Changes, with Noah Scovronick (Resources Radio) 

To watch: Event Replay: Release of the Montgomery County Climate Action Plan (Montgomery County YouTube) 

Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet (Netflix) 

Free, On-Demand Climate-Resilience Trainings (Enterprise Community Partners’ Facebook) 

A Leaked UN Report Warns 'Worst is Yet to Come' on Climate Change. Here's How You Can Help (PBS NewsHour) 

Upcoming Events

July 17th - 24th | Parks & Recreation Event 
Latino Conservation Week 

July 24th | Webinar 
Montgomery County Green Futures Event 

August 25th - 27th | Virtual Conference 
Resilient Virginia 2021 Conference 

August 26th | Virtual Conference 
Green Jobs Forum & Career Fair with Resilient Virginia