Frederick Aldermen Approve Climate Change Report

It says climate change should be considered when the city makes  its decisions.

Frederick, Md (KM) In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Frederick Board of Aldermen adopted the final report form the Climate Emergency Mobilization Workgroup. The Workgroup’s  report emphasized the impact of climate change on the city, and how it must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Recommendations in the report call for the city to make its decisions based on what impact they may have on climate change; accelerating the transition to clean electricity; speeding up the change of city codes for building and land use; protecting and improving the soil health on public,  private and agricultural lands; and changing the structures between the City and the County to coordinate and align policies and programs to accelerate the adoption of these recommendations.

In its  background to  the report, the city says  it has, “on an ongoing basis, adopted many related policies and programs that follow the recommendations provided within the report.”

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Barb Trader, one of the co-chairs of the Workgroup, strongly emphasized the importance of making climate change a consideration for decisions made by the city. “We can’t keep working at cross purposes,” she said. “We have to do things with government policy and government investment that are aligned with our actions on climate change.

Trader also said many of these recommendations have budget implications. “We need capacity to do this work. That means staff. That mean investment on the part of the city,” she said. “So I urge you to think what can happen in this year’s budget, and in following years budget to achieve the capacity that we need.”

When adopting policies to combat climate change, Karen Cannon with Mobilize Frederick, said the city should look for opportunities. “There are new technologies coming down the line everyday to help us mitigate climate change, and sequester carbon. These are opportunities for new jobs, for growth, for educational opportunities, and there’s a lot out there,”: she said.

The Workgroup was formed in 2020 by the City of Frederick and the County.

By Kevin McManus