Frederick Aldermen Propose Climate Emergency Resolution

A public hearing is tentatively planned for March 19.

Frederick, MD – The Frederick County Board of Alderman met Wednesday afternoon and discussed a proposal for a Climate Emergency Resolution.

The resolution was submitted by Alderman Ben MacShane who said taking steps towards sustainability on a local level will contribute to combating climate change overall.

“By all working together city by city, jurisdiction by jurisdiction,” MacShane said. “That can form the network and the web that we need to make great impact on a global level.”

The resolution proposes the city and its residents make a collaborative effort to reduce their contribution to climate change and to pursue the guidance and advice of scientific experts

It would also set a goal of reducing green house gas emissions by 50% by 2030, and 100% by 2050..

The proposal identified climate change as a crisis that “poses an immediate and long-term threat to the well-being of all communities, including the City of Frederick…”

The Alderman’s proposal is the same as the County Council’s resolution which was presented at their meeting Tuesday evening.

MacShane said the city would like to have similar goals of sustainability as the county, but they cannot afford to wait before committing to sustainability themselves.

“It is my goal, my hope, to have a combined, concerted, determined effort between the city and the county,” MacShane said. “I do not think that we have the time remaining or the option to wait and hope that other entities around us move forward with things as well.”

County Council Member Kai Hagen was among those that gave public comment at the meeting and commended MacShane and the board for putting forth the proposal and discussing its implementation.

“There are people out there who are in denial about this and that makes the conversation difficult,” Hagen said. “but the science is a global consensus. The problem is real, the problem is generated by human activity.”

Sustainability Manager Jenny Willoughby also presented the city’s 2019 Sustainability Annual Report during the meeting, highlighting the city’s efforts and statistics regarding recycling, energy usage and water quality among other current initiatives.

She said other ways the city could become more sustainable in the future include having government vehicles transition to electric, composting and more.

Mayor O’Connor said he is seeking the Sustainability Committee’s input on the proposal and the resolution should tentatively be open to a public hearing on March 19.

By Timothy Young