Data Analytics and Statistics Hub

Clean and Sustainable Environment

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (metric tons) of County government operations by 45% by 2030


CY20 Actual

Objective Description

Maryland is already seeing the effects of a rapidly changing climate, posing a threat to the health, security, and prosperity of our communities. From these threats, there is also an opportunity to support a green economy in Howard County that creates new green jobs, saves businesses and consumers money, and improves public health. In 2019, Howard County signed on to the “We Are Still In” declaration, a promise that Americans will not retreat from the global pact of the Paris Agreement to stem the causes of climate change. Howard County also became the first county in the nation to accept the Natural and Working Lands Challenge, committing to taking actions that will increase carbon sequestration in forests, farms, and other lands.

Trend Analysis

Data shown for 2007 and 2012 come from Howard County’s 2010 and 2015 Climate Action Plans. The County will begin updating its Climate Action Plan in 2021 and once it is complete in 2022, there will be more comprehensive climate data for reporting purposes. Data shown here includes greenhouse gas emissions from heating and powering County facilities and roads as well as emissions from fueling County fleet and maintenance equipment. Overall, the County has seen a 4 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from these activities since 2007. FY20 is an unusual year. Due to COVID-19, many County buildings were closed to the public for the third quarter of FY20. In addition, about one-third of County staff teleworked during that time period. Therefore, electricity use and fleet miles traveled were lower than they would have been otherwise. FY21 data will likely show similar trends. It is expected that COVID-19 related GHG emissions reductions will subside in FY22 as County buildings reopen to the public and employees return to on-site work. At that time, the County expects data to better reflect the impact of its energy-saving projects, including improving energy efficiency and reducing fleet fuel consumption.


  • Receive 20% of the power for local government operations from local renewable sources, especially solar power.
  • Reduce petroleum fuel consumption in the County fleet by 20%, by improving the average fuel economy of its fleet, reducing idling, and increasing the number of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Cut energy use for County facilities by 25%, well beyond the required 15% reduction, making Howard County the first jurisdiction to go beyond state requirements.
  • Increase carbon sequestration in forests, farms and other lands throughout the County.
  • Make communities resilient to climate change through sound and effective land use planning and disaster risk management efforts.

Source: Office Community Sustainability

Detailed Analysis

Copyright 2018 by Howard County, Maryland | Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use | ADA Notice