About Us

who we are

HoCo Climate Action is an all-volunteer organization working to inspire and and engage Howard County residents to take action to address the climate crisis.

We can't do it alone. We need your help.
Explore our website to learn ways you can
get involved,
advocacy, local events, and more.

What We Do

Since 2007, we have been working with residents and ally organizations to promote a safe climate and clean energy future. We started by educating ourselves about climate change through discussion circles. Over the years, we moved on to community-building and urging county and state leaders to act on the climate crisis. One of our biggest victories was working with communities across the state to ban fracking in Maryland. We are involved with efforts to increase the amount of solar and wind used in the county, across the state and in the nation while also working to stop new pipelines, compressor stations, LNG export factories and incinerators, and to eliminate single-use plastics. We incorporate environmental and climate justice issues into our advocacy.


350.org affliation
& Movement for Black Lives

HoCo Climate Action is a local 350.org group

350.org was founded in 2008 by a group of university students along with author/teacher Bill McKibben, who in 1989 had written The End Of Nature, considered the first book about global warming for a general audience. The students' goal was to build a global climate movement. 350 was named for 350 parts per million — the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is now a major international climate movement, one of the core organizing groups for the People's Climate March in 2014 in NYC, and leader in the successful opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Other 350 local groups in Maryland:

Movement for Black Lives: As an affiliate of 350.org, HoCo Climate Action stands with 350 and its statement on the police killing of George Floyd, which says in part:

“The work of addressing white supremacy is critical to building a climate movement rooted in justice. There is no just recovery for climate, without addressing the systemic extraction, harm and violence towards Black communities. Building a movement rooted in the needs of those most oppressed is the only way we can achieve liberation for all. "

HoCo Climate Action also stands with the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and its demands. We signed a statement that says, in part:

“As organizations striving for climate justice and environmental protection, we cannot be silent in the face of the police murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others. This moment has laid bare the long and shameful history of institutional and systemic racism against Black and Brown people in this country. We demand action. We stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and endorse the following demands and the M4BL week of action.

We will advocate for these demands, and we will engage our supporters, members, and allies to take action to confront the police violence, inequality, and racism plaguing this country.”

We will advocate for these demands, and we will engage our supporters, members, and allies to take action to confront the police violence, inequality, and racism plaguing this country.”

In addition, please see 350's page, What we must do to dismantle white supremacy

Our History

HoCo Climate Action, formerly HoCo Climate Change & the Climate Change Initiative of Howard County (CCIHC), was formed in 2007 by a group of Howard County residents who were concerned about Climate Change.

We met for the first time on May 18, 2007, with about 20 people who decided to form a four-week discussion circle, Global Warming: Changing Course. After sessions, meetings, and parties, we decided to launch our initiative. While our initial focus was on discussion circles, we branched out in our second and third years, partnering with Transition Howard County, HoLLIE (Howard County Legacy Leadership Institute) and the Howard County Earth Forum. More recently we are partnering also with the Climate Justice Wing of the Maryland Legislative Coalition, and the Howard County Climate Collaboration.

View our brochure.

Discussion Circles

Between 2007 and 2015, HoCo Climate Action, in partnership with Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI), led the curious and the motivated to take responsibility for our Earth by facilitating organized study groups, otherwise known as discussion circles. In fact, HoCo Climate Action -- then known as the Howard County Climate Change Initiative -- emerged from these discussion circles. Over the years, we organized and facilitated more than 50 circles and offered twelve study guides on core topics, including food, health and voluntary simplicity. Each discussion course consisted of 8 to 12 people who engaged in meaningful conversations that lead to “Aha!” moments about the way we live, work, create and consume.

Discussion circles allowed participants to learn together from a discussion guide of short essays, sharing ideas and experiences in an egalitarian and supportive environment. There was opportunity to put "theory into action," as participants discussed how the readings applied to their own lives. Circle members often committed to brief "action items." A wrap-up session was devoted to next steps that the group or individual members hoped to pursue once the circle was complete.

Discussion guides are still available from NWEI, including for "Change Is Our Choice," "Menu for the Future," "Hungry for Change," "Choices for Sustainable Living," "Voluntary Simplicity," and "World of Health" and more. However, at this time we are not facilitating these discussion circles.


HoCo Climate Action member Elisabeth Hoffman wrote the ClimateHoward blog posts from 2012 through 2016, primarily to document the fight to ban fracking in Maryland.