On Earth Day, April 22, 2008, the County adopted Bill 32-07, which codified the County’s greenhouse (GHG) reduction goals. The bill also established the Sustainability Working Group (SWG) and charged it with developing the Climate Protection Plan to: “…reduce County wide greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below the amount…in the base year…including a plan to stop increasing County wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 and achieve a 10% reduction every 5 years through 2050.”
The Sustainability Working Group plays a critical role in helping to promote more sustainable practices in Montgomery County. It consists of 15 government and regional organization representatives and 11 public members with expertise in areas such as business, communications, land use/building, clean energy, water quality, and habitat protection.
The Sustainability Working Group provides a unifying framework to engage the private sector so that the work of government and the community are integrated and leveraged. The Group intends to develop a shared set of goals and strategies that will facilitate mobilization of the entire community.
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Climate Protection Plan
On January 15, 2009, the Montgomery County Sustainability Working Group presented the County's first Climate Protection Plan (PDF, 194 pp, 3.5K) to the County Executive and County Council. The Plan starts the County along the path of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Its 58 actionable recommendations cover 7 areas:
- Renewable energy
- Residential building energy efficiency
- Commercial, multifamily, and public building energy efficiency
- Forestry and agriculture
- Long-term planning
- Education and outreach
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