Data Analytics and Statistics Hub

Clean and Sustainable Environment

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



Objective Description

Howard County will reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% below 2010 levels by 2030 and to reach zero emissions by 2050. This follows the recommendations of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2018 report. Howard County had previously set – and surpassed – a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 7 percent below 2007 levels by 2012. The Maryland Commission on Climate Change (MCCC) reports that our state 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 opportunity to support a green economy in Howard County where our residents receive training and gain critical skills that enable them to be successful in the green jobs of the future. Reducing greenhouse gas also benefits the economy by saving businesses and consumers money and improving public health.

Trend Analysis

Data are currently being complied and detailed analysis will be added when data are fully available. In 2018, a comprehensive energy performance contract with installations of energy efficiency measures was completed. The project included an energy audit of all 200 County buildings and energy-saving projects in 68 buildings. This project allowed $13 million of energy-saving and comfort-enhancing capital improvements without any upfront capital investment by the County. The project is expected to reduce energy use in those 68 buildings by 34 percent. Converting current streetlights to highly efficient LED fixtures also is expected to result in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, Howard County signed on to the “We Are Still In” declaration, a promise to world leaders that Americans will not retreat from the global pact of the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and stem the causes of climate change. Howard County also became the first county in the nation to accept the Natural and Working Lands Challenge. That challenge calls on jurisdictions to commit to taking actions that will increase carbon sequestration in forests, farms, and other lands.


  • 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

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