Pathways to net-zero carbon emissions

MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions
Pathways to net-zero carbon emissions start with a pledge to reduce and eliminate fossil fuel use as rapidly as possible. Many college campuses, cities, counties, states, and countries are pledging to be carbon neutral, and we support this goal for our state, to make Maryland carbon neutral within a generation. This achievement will prevent the worst of the damage from climate change by helping the US to stay within the limits set by the Paris Agreement.

States like California, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon have taken the lead in setting targets for renewable energy. These states have announced that they plan to reduce greenhouse gases and/or increase their  renewable energy portfolio to 50 % by 2030. Some states are going further to declare goals of 100 % by 2045. We provide links below to some of the climate legislation and programs for renewable energy and GHG emissions for California and Hawaii and carbon pricing in states and Canadian provinces. The National Conference of State Legislatures website maintains the renewable portfolio standards and goals for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Maryland needs a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality within a generation. Off-shore wind and solar power represent excellent sources of renewable energy for Maryland. The Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency has valuable information on currently installed wind power and future capacity by state and the SEIA has solar market and policy information by state.

Plans to achieve 100 % renewable energy have been proposed by the Stanford University group of Professor Mark Jacobson for all 50 states. The Jacobson plan for Maryland includes 60 % from off-shore and 5 % from on-land wind power, 22.2 % from solar photovoltaics, 10.2 %  from residential and commercial/government roof-top solar photovoltaics, and 1.5 % from hydroelectric (see link below).

The MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions is developing a roadmap for making Maryland carbon neutral within a generation. Our plan involves both economic and technical tools to bring about the necessary changes to avoid climate catastrophe.