Md. Environment Sec. Grumbles to Attend Key Global Climate Conference in Scotland
BALTIMORE (November 4, 2021) — Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles will attend and participate in key events of the annual global summit on climate change, known as COP26 (Conference of the Parties for the 26th year) in Glasgow, Scotland, November 7-10.
Grumbles will join top environmental officials from more than a dozen U.S. states for panel discussions and meetings to promote economy-wide deep decarbonization, adaptation and resiliency, highlighting Maryland’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction and nature-based restoration and protection strategies for the Chesapeake Bay and beyond and scientific initiatives on ocean acidification and carbon sequestration (involving forests, soils, and coastal wetlands also known as “blue carbon.”) He will also meet with other countries, businesses and academic institutions to discuss public and private partnerships for a greener economy in Maryland and around the world.
“It’s an honor to represent Maryland and Governor Larry Hogan’s Administration at the global climate summit and to underscore the importance of bipartisan environmental leadership at home and abroad. We can and must find ways to dramatically slash greenhouse gases while growing the economy and increasing the resilience of communities and ecosystems,” Secretary Grumbles said.
New agreements were made earlier in the summit to end deforestation and reduce methane emissions. Forests play a key role in absorbing carbon dioxide and slowing the rise in global temperatures.
Grumbles said the summit would also serve as a global platform for sharing a Maryland-based first of its kind technology for tracking the size and success of forests in pulling carbon pollution from the atmosphere. The carbon monitoring project resulted from a collaboration of the Maryland Department of the Environment, University of Maryland, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the World Resources Institute.
Funded by NASA, the project pioneers the use of high-resolution Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, ecosystem modeling, and satellite imagery in measuring annual changes in forest carbon.
Forests already store the largest quantity of carbon in the state, removing about 10% of what is emitted annually. Maryland will be using results of this project in its greenhouse gas inventory and to help measure annual progress toward the state climate goals of 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2045.
Grumbles is chairman of the independent, bipartisan Maryland Commission on Climate Change, which adopted comprehensive recommendations on mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency actions on Nov. 1. He is also vice chair of the nation’s first “cap and invest” program for the energy sector, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which has grown over the last two years to 11 states, and president of the Environmental Council of the States.
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