A. Commission Strengthened.To continue to advise the Governor and General Assembly on matters related to climate change, the Maryland Commission on Climate Change (the Commission) is modified and reinforced as indicated below.
B. Membership.The Commissionís membership shall be expanded to extend the Commissionís reach and effectiveness.The Commissionís membership shall consist of no more than 25 members and include:
(1) One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates;
(2) One member appointed by the President of the Senate;
(3) The Treasurer of the State of Maryland;
(4) The Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment;
(5) The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture;
(6) The Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources;
(7) The Secretary of the Department of Planning;
(8) The State Superintendent of Schools;
(9) The Secretary of the Department of Transportation;
(10) The Secretary of the Department of General Services;
(11) The Director of the Maryland Energy Administration;
(12) The President of the University of Marylandís Center for Environmental Science;
(13) At least two representatives from local governments;
(14) At least two representatives from the business community;
(15) At least two representatives from non-profit organizations; and
(16) No more than seven at large members appointed by the Governor.
C. Terms.Members appointed by the Governor shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor for renewable, two-year terms.
D. Chair.The Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment shall serve as Chair of the Commission.
E. Commission Tasks.The Commission shall:
(1) Strengthen and maintain existing State action plans to further mitigate the causes and drivers of climate change, and address (prepare for and adapt to) the consequences of climate change.
(2) Reestablish Scientific and Technical, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Mitigation, and Adaptation and Response Working Groups, and create other working groups as needed.
(3) Prioritize working group actions, including:
(a) Developing broader public/private and federal/State/local partnerships to better mitigate the causes and address the consequences of climate change, and to better communicate with and educate citizens about the urgency of the challenge and options to address it;
(b) Maintaining an inventory of Marylandís GHG emission sources and sinks;
(c) Addressing the challenge†that low income and otherwise vulnerable communities will likely be disproportionately impacted by climate change;
(d) Assessing the impacts that climate change will likely have on the State's economy, revenues, and investment decisions;
(e) Recommending short and longer-term strategies and initiatives to better mitigate the causes and address the consequences of climate change;
(f) Delivering tools and assistance to local governments to support community-scale climate vulnerability assessments and the development and integration of specific strategies for enhancing resilience to the impacts of climate change into local plans and ordinances;
(g) Establishing comprehensive and accountable, annual working group work plans that set annual goals and performance benchmarks, and prioritize new and existing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions and initiatives;
(h) Maintaining a comprehensive action plan, with five year benchmarks, to achieve science-based reductions in Marylandís GHG emissions of 80% of 2006 levels by 2050; and
(i) Convening regular working group and full Commission meetings to ensure that sufficient progress is being made across all sectors and communities in Maryland.
(4) Consider other related matters as the Commission deems necessary.
F. Appointments.The Chair of the Commission shall appoint working group and sub-committee members who represent both public and private interests in climate change, including but not limited to: academic institutions, renewable and traditional energy providers, environmental organizations, government representatives, labor organizations, and business interests.Working group and subcommittee members shall serve at the pleasure of the Commission Chair.
(1) Within 30 days of the effective date of this Executive Order, the Commission shall be convened and working group members shall be appointed.
(2) Within 60 days of the effective date of this Executive Order, working groups shall meet and establish individual work plans.
H. Staff Coordination.The Departments of the Environment (MDE) and Natural Resources (DNR) shall jointly staff the Commission in coordination with other State agencies as directed by the Chair.
I. Enhanced State Action.To address concerns related to climate change:
(1) All State agencies shall review State planning, regulatory and fiscal programs to identify and recommend actions to more fully integrate the consideration of Marylandís GHG reduction goal and the impacts of climate change; including sea level rise, increased precipitation and temperature, and extreme weather. State agencies shall also identify and recommend specific policy, planning,regulatory and fiscal changes for existing programs that do not currently support the Stateís GHG reduction efforts or address climate change impacts.
(2) GHG Reduction Plan agencies shall submit an annual program implementation status report to Marylandís Commission on Climate Change and to the Governor, through MDE.The annual status report should include:program descriptions and objectives; implementation milestones; enhancement opportunities; funding or other challenges; and any other information that the reporting agency considers relevant.Status reports should include estimated GHG emission reductions, by program, for the prior calendar year.
(3) DNR shall issue Maryland Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) guidelines that require consideration of climate change factors, including both mitigation and adaptation.
(4) The Department of Information Technology (DoIT) shall create an online climate data and information portal to increase public access to the latest climate science, projections and technical resources.
(5) StateStat shall continue to monitor and further drive State agenciesí progress toward climate change mitigation and reduction goals through quarterly ClimateStat sessions.†
J. Reporting.Marylandís Commission on Climate Change shall report to the Governor and General Assembly on or before November 15 of each year, beginning with November 15, 2015, on the status of the Stateís efforts to address the causes and consequences of climate change, including future plans and recommendations for legislation, if any, for consideration by the General Assembly.