Skip to Content Accessibility Information

Maryland Department of the Environment

Secretary McIlwain Joins World Leaders at Annual Climate Conference

Mission to Promote Maryland’s Net-Zero Policies

BALTIMORE (Dec. 1, 2023) — Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain will attend the annual global summit on climate change known as COP28 (28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in the United Arab Emirates from Dec. 1 to Dec. 6.

“Maryland is joining the world stage with some of the most ambitious climate goals on Earth,” said Secretary McIlwain. “Working with other governments, businesses and citizen groups to develop an economy-wide, science-based plan to help meet these goals is critical. Participating in COP 28 provides a unique opportunity for Maryland to build new partnerships and learn how others are working to tackle the climate crisis through innovative policies, programs and financing.”

At COP28, Secretary McIlwain will promote:

  • Maryland’s goals of achieving a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2031, 100 percent clean energy by 2035, and net zero by 2045
  • Accomplishments in reducing economy-wide emissions by 30 percent since 2006, including reducing power plant pollution by 60 percent
  • Maryland’s plan to transition off of fossil fuels, retrofit buildings for energy efficiency, scale vehicle electrification, and build a foundation for the green economy

The state last participated in the annual conference in 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Maryland’s nation-leading reductions are in large part due to being a founding member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative of a dozen states that participate in a cap and invest program to limit power plant carbon emissions. The program contributed $150 million last year to energy initiatives and has played a major role in reducing power plant emissions by 16 million metric tons annually.

Secretary McIlwain will serve on several panels hosted by the U.S. Climate Alliance and other global climate partners, representing Governor Wes Moore and the Maryland Climate Change Commission, which provides science-based recommendations on climate mitigation and adaptation to the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly. The Maryland Department of the Environment is charged with implementing the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022.