Testimony: Climate Solutions Now Act 2021

We have joined Environment Maryland in supporting the Climate Solutions Now Act, which is sponsored by Sen. Pinsky and Del. Stein. Here is our testimony.

We have joined Environment Maryland in supporting the Climate Solutions Now Act, which is sponsored by Sen. Pinsky and Del. Stein. Here is our testimony.

HB 583 SB 414 – Environment- Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021 
Position: Favorable

Maryland’s reliance on polluting fuels puts our health and safety at risk. Our state energy policy must conserve more energy, use the energy we have wisely and efficiently, and rely only on sources of energy that are clean, renewable and tread lightly on our planet. We support HB 583, the Climate Solutions Now Act, because it improves upon our state’s current plan and puts us on a better path to reach these goals. 

It’s time to stop burning fossil fuels

With every day, it becomes even more clear that the impacts of global warming are accelerating. 2019 was hotter than any previous year in human history, breaking records last set in 2018 and 2017. We’re feeling the effects – from severe flooding across the state and more frequent red-ozone days, to increasingly powerful storms and droughts throughout the U.S. and world.

Globally, we must reduce emissions from all sources to zero – ideally within the next 25 years. The  Mid-Atlantic states are in a position to do much more, and we should. We need to take further action to increase energy efficiency, clean up our electricity, our transportation system, our buildings and our industries.

Because scientists agree that we must stop burning virtually all fossil fuels by mid-century to tackle climate change, Environment Maryland is committed to reducing our state’s global warming emissions to zero quickly as possible. That’s why state leadership, through measures like the Climate Solutions Act, are so important.

Getting on the right track

Our state’s current reduction framework does not come close to accomplishing the recommended cuts in emissions that we need in order to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. 

This legislation puts us on the right track to achieve our climate goals by updating Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction mandate to 60% by 2030 and net zero by 2045. Anything less ambitious than that simply will not be enough to combat climate change. It is nothing short of urgent that we pass HB 583 this year.

We have the opportunity this session to put us on a path to a better future. A future with clean air and a livable climate. A future with efficient public transit, solar power, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. We urge you to vote favorably on HB 583 because we believe that this bill will lead to that future.


Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG; Director, Stop Toxic PFAS Campaign, PIRG

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Emily has helped win small donor public financing in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. She has played a key role in establishing new state laws to to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms, require testing for lead in school drinking water and restrict the use of toxic flame retardant and PFAS chemicals. Emily also serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working. Emily lives in Baltimore City with her husband, kids, and dog.

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