In 2009, the City of Baltimore adopted its Sustainability Plan. The Pollution Prevention chapter of the Sustainability Plan clearly laid forth a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2015. The strategies associated with this goal were to create a comprehensive Climate Action Plan, and to then strategically implement the Climate Action Plan.
In 2012, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, utilizing federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, embarked on a process to create a Climate Action Plan for the City of Baltimore. The process included the creation of a 22 member Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee, as well as working groups for Building Energy, Land Use & Transportation, Growing a Green City, and Adaptation. These working groups developed emission reduction goals and strategies that are relevant, and feasible to implement within the City.
Main Goals and Strategies
The City of Baltimore is committed to taking action to mitigate global climate change. Baltimore’s greenhouse gas emissions for our baseline year 2010 were 7,579,144 metric tons (MT) CO2e/yr and will rise to 7,838,996 MT CO2e/yr by 2020 without action. The Climate Action Plan outlines how the City will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below 2010 levels citywide by 2020.
Key examples of mitigation strategies from the Climate Action Plan are:
Energy Savings & Supply
- Reduce the energy consumption of existing commercial and residential buildings and schools, while conducting energy efficiency education and outreach
- Retrofit city infrastructure for more efficient energy usage
- Promote generation of renewable energy and solar installations, while working to increase Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard
- Adopt energy efficiency and green building standards for new construction and large renovation projects
- Promote efficient community energy distribution systems
Land Use & Transportation
- Promote mixed-use development, encouraging pedestrian- and transit-oriented neighborhoods while increasing access to goods and services
- Support alternative individual alternative transportation strategies
- Explore parking strategies that encourage carpooling or alternative transportation methods
- Develop a Pedestrian Masterplan that provides safe routes to schools and supports bicycles
- Support alternative fuel options by providing infrastructure
- Increase efficiency of city assets and fleet
Growing A Green City
- Divert waste from landfills, promoting material reuse, recycling and composting
- Repair water supply infrastructure and improve water efficiency efforts
- Protect and enhance Baltimore’s urban forest
Building upon the key working group process used to construct the Sustainability Plan, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability (BOS) convened the CAP Advisory Committee to develop the core content of the CAP and its recommendations through:
- Serving as a sounding board during plan development to ensure ideas are feasible and relevant to Baltimore
- Offering expertise and providing context specific input to ensure the plan is forward-thinking and innovative and is linked into other city and regional sustainability initiatives, and
- Serving as ambassadors to respective communities to ensure that Baltimore residents and businesses are engaged and motivated throughout the process.
The Advisory Committee was composed of approximately 30 experts and decision-makers representing community, city, county and state entities most relevant to implementation of the CAP including: City of Baltimore Departments of Planning, General Services, Transportation, Recreation and Parks, Fire, Health, Baltimore Housing; the Baltimore Commission on Sustainability; the Waterfront Partnership; Constellation Energy; and resident representatives.