HoCo Climate Action and Advocacy

Featured Event

Electrify HoCo

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Email HoCoClimateAction@gmail.com to join this email list

Join us as we plan next steps to get County Council backing to incentivize new-building electrification in Howard County. We will summarize recent council discussion at the Nov. 1, 2021 legislative meeting relating to building electrification and strategize next steps in educating our County Council members and the public. We also plan to set up teams to meet with our individual members. Please forward to anyone who may be interested in this campaign.

Check out our working docs: https://bit.ly/hocobuildings

coming Events

Monday, Nov 22, 7 p.m. Beyond Plastics briefing on their new report, The New Coal: Plastics and Climate Change. Join Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, and Alexis Goldsmith, organizing director for Beyond Plastics, to dig into the findings with a focus on using this report as a tool for organizing. When it comes to climate change, plastic is the new coal. The new report reveals that greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. plastics industry will exceed the equivalent of 150 coal plants by 2025, outpacing coal's GHG emissions by 2030. The emissions and pollution from this industry are focused in just 18 communities in the U.S., and, not surprisingly, these are primarily low-income communities and communities of color - a clear and growing example of environmental injustice. With a major petrochemical buildout planned, the U.S. plastics industry threatens our global ability to stay below the 1.5 degree Celsius rise in temperature required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Registration: bit.ly/rsvp-11-22-21. Full report and appendices at: https://bit.ly/plasticisthenewcoal

Monday, Nov. 29, 1-2:15 pm - Eminent Domain & Fracking Pipelines Landowners for Fairness - Join landowners from around the country to hear from FERC Commissioner Allison Clements; for a Congressional staff panel on eminent domain legislation. Join for a national update on pipeline litigation, updates on major pipelines, and a robust Question & Answer period. The Property Rights and Pipeline Center (PRPC) works to end the use of eminent domain for oil and gas pipelines. Register here.

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 6-7 pm, Future Act Information Session - The FUTURE Act would require all MD four-year public universities to be carbon neutral by 2035. The bill creates an Environmental and Economic Justice Scholarship Fund for Maryland students who have been displaced by climate change or are from communities burdened by environmental injustices. Moreover, it will institute general education requirements so all students graduating from Maryland’s public colleges will be equipped to address these challenges. The FUTURE Act was written by the MaryPIRG Student Climate Action Coalition (MSCAC), with students from MD public universities and formed in 2020 after facing minimal climate action from our universities. Email mscacoalition@gmail.com for link.

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2 p.m. Using Health Impact Assessments to Engage Communities and Prioritize Action. Communities that have faced de-industrialization and disinvestment can face a range of issues that affect public health. Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discuss how Health Impact Assessments can help communities identify local challenges to public health and develop practical approaches to improve health outcomes, with local examples from across the nation. More info and register here.

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m. Reclaiming Renewable Energy: How Greenwashing Big Chicken Hurts Us All. Find out about biogas, a dirty energy source in the RPS, along with incineration, that we are working to take out of the program in the Reclaim Rec (RPS reform) bill. See video here. RSVP here.

Wednesday, Dec 1, 7-8:30 pm HoCo Sierra Club Group Year End Mtg: Sustainable Yards and the Growing Rewilding Movement - Join for the 2nd HoCo Sierra Club Group Virtual Holiday Get Together! We will be hearing from a speaker discussing sustainable gardening and the rewilding movement! Register here.

Thursday, Dec 2, 5:30 p.m. Climate Change & The State House: Maryland Legislators are United & Ready to Act. MDP's sixth event in the Maryland Climate Matters series. Panel with Del. Kumar Barve - District 17 (Montgomery County), Sen. Sarah Elfreth - District 30 (Anne Arundel County), Sen. Paul Pinsky - District 22 (Prince George's County), Del. Stephanie Smith - District 45 (Baltimore City), Del. Dana Stein - District 11 (Baltimore County), Sen. Mary Washington - District 43 (Baltimore City). Former MDP Chair Kathleen Matthews will moderate the panel. Signup here.

Friday, Dec 3, 11-12:30 pm Decarbonization of Existing Commercial Buildings: Policy & Financial Issues Join the ISE and the U.S. Green Building Council as we continue our discussion of how to substantially decarbonize existing commercial buildings and turn our focus to policy and financial issues. What are the regulatory drivers, how much will it cost to meet emerging emissions requirements, and what are the next steps in real-world planning for the practical electrification of existing buildings? Free. Register here.


Peter Y. Flynn, Managing Partner, Bostonia (BU Law)

Michael Gevelber, ISE-affiliated faculty, Assoc. Prof, BU Mechanical Engineering

Jacob Knowles, Associate Principal, Director of Sustainable Design, BR+A

Brenda Pike, Climate Advisor, American Cities Climate Challenge, City of Boston Environment Department - Moderated by Elizabeth Beardsley, Senior Policy Counsel, U.S. Green Building Council.

Saturday, Dec. 4, Noon ET - Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Celebration Space, with an opportunity to interact, learn from each other, and celebrate strengths. Register here.

Tuesday, Dec 7, 2pm - 2021: Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition in this Decisive Decade – Reasons to Be Hopeful. The world continued to face unprecedented challenges this past year—the global COVID19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc, this summer’s UNFCCC report forecasted dire news of climate impacts on our planet. All this can feel hopeless. At RMI, we are leading with HOPE and SOLUTIONS to dramatically accelerate the clean energy transition in this decade. We’re very fortunate to have talented, young leaders throughout our programs spearheading the change required. Their passion, relentlessness, and innovative thinking give us hope that we can right the course toward a climate-aligned pathway by 2030, with global programs driving toward a 1.5°C future. During this discussion, RMI CEO Jules Kortenhorst will be sitting down with three emerging leaders at RMI who are leading key initiatives to drive RMI's new global programs toward impactful and measurable outcomes. Register here,

Wednesday Dec 8, 1 pm - Accounting for Maryland's Blue Carbon - This webinar will explore the readiness of blue carbon science in Maryland to support the state greenhouse gas inventory and restoration projects interested in accessing carbon markets. Sign up here

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 6:30-7:30 pm - Conowingo Dam Cleanup: Why are you paying and Exelon isn’t? Join the discussion on how we can still get a fair deal for the next 50 years. In March 2021, FERC approved Exelon’s Conowingo Dam relicensing for the next 50 years. This license includes the extremely flawed 2019 settlement agreement between the MD Department of the Environment (MDE) and Exelon. Bay state taxpayers are now left with the responsibility of paying for the dam cleanup instead of requiring Exelon to pay its fair share. But it’s not over. There are solutions to holding MDE and Exelon accountable. You should not have to pay the bill for the dam cleanup because Exelon was able to walk away. The discussion will be moderated by Marc Steiner. Panelists:

  • Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-8)

  • Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director, Waterkeepers Chesapeake

  • Ted Evgeniadis, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper

  • Jeff Corbin, Senior VP for Water Quality Markets & Mitigation, Restoration Systems

  • Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy & Environmental Research

Hosted by Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Sasssafras Riverkeeper, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Info and register here.

Thursday, Dec 9, 1-2 p.m. - Ready to Go: Opportunities for Cities and States to Deploy Federal Funding to Advance Clean Energy and Equity sponsored by ACEEE. Recent and pending federal funding initiatives, may provide billions of dollars that can help cities and states reach their goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance equity. Governments can learn from example to efficiently and effectively leverage these generational opportunities. Attendees will hear lessons shared in a new ACEEE toolkit that lays out guiding principles for governments, as well as 17 strong programs that can serve as models for new or expanded efforts. Officials from Connecticut and Washington, D.C. will share insights from their programs and how they are planning to leverage federal funding, and a representative from Elevate will discuss how governments can ensure that programs are deployed equitably to advance energy justice. Register here for Microsoft Teams webinar


Moderator: Jasmine Mah, Research Analyst in Health and Environment, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Dr. Amanda Dewey, Senior Research Analyst in Local Policy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Vicki Hackett, Deputy Commissioner of Energy, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Dave Epley, Associate Director, D.C. Department of Energy & Environment

Trisha Miller, Chief Innovation and Development Officer, Elevate

Thursday, Dec 9, 1-2:30 PM - Building Bridges: Engaging your Community in a Climate Conversation Workshop - This online panel and workshops will bolster your ability to build bridges in your community around finding common ground on climate change issues. This is the crisis of our time and we need to start finding common solutions to this problem. Whether you’re already engaging in difficult conversations or don’t know where to start, this event will bolster your ability to build bridges in your community around finding common ground on climate change issues. Sponsored by ReImagine Appalachia. Register here.

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m. Federal Funding for Local Decarbonization (part 2 of 3 part series from RMI) - register here & see 2020 report on regulatory solutions here

Friday, Dec 10, noon-4:30 pm - Cradle to Grave: The Reverberating Health Hazards of Oil and Gas Industry. This virtual conference focuses on worker's often uniformed toxic exposure to PFAS chemicals and radioactivity from the oil and gas industry. Also focusing on effects on families, communities, and beyond. Sign up here. Sponsored by Pennsylvania Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR PA) and Halt the Harm Network. PSR PA blog.

Monday, Dec 13, 9 or 10 AM - Opportunity to testify for strong MD Landfill Methane Regulations at AQCAC, the Maryland Air Quality Control Advisory Council. This Council reviews proposed regulations. We assume the meeting is still online and the public can participate. Maryland plans to submit proposed landfill methane regulations for approval. Climate advocates should push for the strongest possible regulations. When the time and agenda is posted for this scheduled meeting we will link that here. See more background on info page here.

Sign this petition now- Support Cleaner Maryland Landfills.

Thursday, Dec 16, 7 pm - When Crisis Becomes Reality: The Urgency for Climate Action. Extreme floods, major hurricanes, and destructive wildfires are disrupting communities around the globe. The climate crisis is here, and we must act now. Learn from trusted environmental advocates and plot your course to speak out in Maryland’s upcoming legislative session and beyond. Featuring youth climate activist Jamie Margolin from Zero Hour as the keynote speaker. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Baltimore, the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Pearlstone Retreat Center. All are welcome. Register here.

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2022, 8-9:30 a.m. - save the date - Howard County Sustainability Breakfast - Annual event, virtual in 2021 and 2022. Speakers on major environmental issues in Howard Co and Maryland, and on expected legislation ahead. Sponsored by HoCo Environmental Sustainability Board.

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2022 - Maryland Legislative Session Opens. Save the date for rallies in Annapolis this day to support major Climate Solutions bills and more.

Event series

December 8 and 15, and Jan 11 - A series on Collaborative Efforts on Blue Carbon in Maryland. Flier with registration links here. A webinar series from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Maryland Departments of the Environment and Natural Resources, andMaryland Sea Grant on behalf of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change and its workgroups.

Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. The Blue Carbon Initiative currently focuses on carbon in coastal ecosystems - mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses. These ecosystems sequester and store large quantities of blue carbon in both the plants and the sediment below. For example, over 95% of the carbon in seagrass meadows is stored in the soils. https://www.thebluecarboninitiative.org/

Sat Oct 16 to Dec 18, 2021. Every 2 weeks on Saturdays from 2 -4 pm - Skilling up for Climate Justice Training from 350.org We’re excited to invite members of all 350 affiliates and their network to participate in a series of five online trainings geared to prepare members to organize and campaign with resiliency and power. The training are free, and last 2 hours. Slides and other resources are provided to support local trainings. Participate in any or all. Get all the details in this flyer and register now to receive the zoom links. Recordings and resources will be available if you can’t make a training. These trainings are facilitated by local groups: 350 New Hampshire, 350 Bay Area, SanDiego350, 350 Vermont and 350 PDX in collaboration with 350.org’s training dept.

  • Saturday, Oct 16th - Climate Justice: Principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, intersections between climate and social justice movements, how to identify and address white supremacy culture and inequity in our groups and work.

  • Saturday, Oct 30th - Strategic Messaging: Why storytelling and messaging are essential to our work, how to create a just and equitable narrative that supports campaign strategies using non-extractive storytelling, and best practices for communicating our message.

  • Saturday, Nov 20th - Organizing and Movement Building: Why build a movement? How to recruit, engage, and onboard new volunteers, develop volunteer leadership, and build community.

  • Saturday, Dec 4th - Strategic Campaigning: How to choose a campaign, map out decision makers, allies and opponents, plan campaign goals, timeline, and roles, and select effective tactics using a justice and equity lens.

  • Saturday, Dec 18th - Policy Advocacy: How to advocate, how legislative bodies work, and how to influence elected officials--with examples from local affiliates to demonstrate common tactics and best practices.

Mondays, Sept 20 to Nov. 29, 7– 8:30 pm

Weather Reports - The Climate of Now: A Series of Online Conversations Host - Cuppa Tea with Terry Tempest Williams, conservationist, activist and author with an amazing group of writers, activists, poets, filmmakers, and spiritual leaders.

Free; required registration for each zoom.

September 20 Burning Testament to Climate Collapse -Lucy Walker, film maker - Register

September 27 The Climate of Sacred Land Protection - Bernadette Demientieff, Gwich’in activist - Register

October 4 -The Climate of Relationships and Intersectionality - Morgan Curtis, MDiv '24, climate activist and HDS student brontë velez, Black-latinx transdisciplinary artist - Register

October 18 The Climate of Compassion for all Beings - Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at Harvard Divinity School - Register

October 25 The Climate of Grief - Victoria Chang, poet - Register

November 1 (live streamed) The Climate of Consciousness - Michael Pollan, writer - Register

November 8 The Climate of Resistance - Chloe Aridjis, award-winning novelist, Sea Monsters (2020) and organizer for Writers Rebel and Wanjira Mathai, Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute - Register

November 15 The Climate of Attention - Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker staff writer - Register

November 22 The Climate of the Future - Kim Stanley Robinson, novelist - Register

November 29 The Climate of Community - Brian Kirbis, Theasophie, A Community Tea Ceremony - Register