Faith, community and climate leaders in Baltimore are scheduled to announce a new electricity campaign for Maryland on Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. at the Episcopal Diocesan Center, 4 East University Parkway in Baltimore City. The campaign will require that half of Maryland’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.
“We call on the Maryland General Assembly to double our goals for renewable energy during the 2018 session so we can save lives and transition our energy sector away from harmful fossil fuels and toward a clean energy economy,” said Public Health Advocate Vincent DeMarco, who recently formed the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative, a nonprofit with a mission to elevate climate issues in the electoral process. “There is no time to waste, so our organization will put all we have into making renewable energy and clean energy jobs one of the top issues in the 2018 state elections.”
The campaign will also unveil a legislative proposal that calls for expanding and strengthening Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires utilities to buy a certain percentage of renewable energy each year, from the current target of 25 percent by 2020.
“As the federal government moves backwards on climate, Maryland is moving forward,” said Karla Raettig, executive director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “We are seeing the human impacts from climate change from Texas to Montana to the Eastern Shore. States are stepping up and leading the way on renewable energy to protect our communities and the environment.”
The campaign will also call for a substantial investment in training for clean energy jobs and assistance for minority and women owned businesses working in the field.
Several groups have already endorsed the campaign, including the Ecumenical Leaders Group of Maryland, Maryland faith groups and the Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches. The campaign is a priority for the Maryland Climate Coalition, whose members include the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Interfaith Power and Light, SEIU 1199, and the Maryland Environmental Health Network.
“We know that all Marylanders, particularly disadvantaged communities, will benefit from protecting our climate and ensuring good quality jobs,” said Gerald Stansbury, president of the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP.
Additional Maryland groups can join the campaign by going to cleanenergyjobs.org/sign.