Report Estimates 16K New Jobs Possible via Climate Pathway
Friday, July 7, 2023
A new report provides a road map for how Maryland can achieve its climate goals, and officials want to hear from the public.
Maryland's Climate Pathway laid out multiple options for how the state can meet its climate goals, among them a 60% reduction of greenhouse gasses by 2031 relative to 2006 levels.
The state's climate goals were laid out in last year's Climate Solutions Now Act, a measure characterized as the most ambitious in the nation. The act calls for a net-zero carbon economy by 2045.
The Climate Pathway report estimated reaching the climate goals will result in more than a billion dollars in health benefits by 2031.
Kathleen Kennedy, assistant research professor at the University of Maryland and the report's lead author, said their economic analysis showed the pathway can also produce thousands of new jobs.
"We do an analysis of economic impacts in partnership with the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson," Kennedy explained. "They use another secondary model, which said that this pathway can provide significant new jobs, over 16,000 cumulatively through 2031, as well as significant benefits for personal income and GDP growth."
Over the next few months, the Maryland Department of the Environment will host public outreach sessions to get feedback on the report across the state and online.
The Climate Pathway calls for an "all-of society approach" to combine state and federal actions with those of cities, counties, business leaders, and community organizations.
Serena McIlwain, Maryland's Secretary of the Environment, said the listening tour seeks to hear from everyone.
"We want to hear from everyone, we want to hear from stakeholders and Marylanders," McIlwain emphasized. "This listening session is an opportunity for us to hear even more of what you're thinking and what do you think it's going to take for us to put these options into action."
The report noted the state has already achieved half the greenhouse gas emission reductions sought by 2031. However, the current policy mix would result in emissions beginning to rise by mid-century as various state and federal policies expire before 2040.
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