We’re Still In

February 2019

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced on February 26th, 2019 a series of commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions and stem the causes of climate change. This includes signing on to the “We Are Still In” declaration – a promise to world leaders that Americans will not retreat from the global pact to reduce emissions.

Howard County will aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of County government operations 45 percent below 2010 levels by the year 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2050. This will be accomplished by reducing County energy use, lowering fleet fuel consumption, and increasing renewable energy generation on County property. Because of these commitments, the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has designated Howard County one of Maryland’s Smart Energy Communities and provided an initial grant of $75,000 to improve the energy efficiency in public buildings. By 2024, Howard County is committing to:

  • Obtain 20 percent of the power for local government operations from renewable sources, especially solar power generated on County property.
  • Reduce petroleum fuel consumption in the County fleet by 20 percent, by improving the average fuel economy of the fleet, reducing idling, and increasing the number of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
  • Cut energy use in its facilities by 25 percent, well beyond the required 15 percent reduction, making Howard County the first jurisdiction to go beyond state requirements.

Howard County also is the first county in the nation to accept the U.S. Climate Alliance’s Natural and Working Lands Challenge. The challenge calls on jurisdictions to increase carbon sequestration in forests, farms, and other lands.

County Executive Ball also announced specific initiatives to move toward these important goals, including:

  • Adding almost 10,000 additional homes to the curbside food scraps collection program starting April 1, 2019.
  • Converting nearly 8,000 streetlights to energy-efficient, long-lasting LEDs.
  • Implementing a routine, systematic, and detailed investigation of energy use at all County buildings to identify and address energy inefficiencies.
  • Increasing the target efficiency of the new circuit courthouse from LEED Silver to Gold status.
  • Actively pursuing installation of 25 new, electric vehicle charging stations at County facilities.

To see video of the County Executive’s announcement, please click here. To access photos of the event, please click here. To learn more about Howard County’s commitments under the We Are Still In declaration, visit Howard County’s We’re Still In webpage.