Maryland Passes the Climate Solutions Now Act
April 11, 2022
Maryland Legislature Enacts Most Ambitious 2031 Emissions Reductions Target, With Special Focus on Buildings
On April 8, the Climate Solutions Now Act, SB 528, became law. The bill, sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky, set the nation’s leading interim goal of a 60% reduction below 2006 emissions by 2031, with a requirement to reach net-zero by 2045. To accomplish this, the bill:
- establishes a Building Energy Performance Standard, requiring large buildings to be net-zero by 2040
- requires 100% of the state passenger fleet to be zero-emissions by 2031
- creates a comprehensive definition of “overburdened” and “underserved” communities who should receive targeted benefits from climate-related funding, mitigation, and adaptation efforts
- pilots an electric school bus program that includes vehicle-to-grid technology
- incorporates long-term and ongoing electric distribution planning to facilitate decarbonization
- requires state agencies to consider the long-term climate and equity impacts of their policies
- Creates the Climate Catalytic Fund to leverage private investment, with at least 40% being directed to qualified projects in low- and moderate- income households
The bill also instructs state agencies and commissions to pursue federal funds. NCEL compiled a briefing book about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to assist states in these efforts.
In addition to Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington have net-zero emissions targets, and eight other states have statutory emissions reductions requirements.