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Baltimore City Aims To Go Carbon Neutral By 2045, Scott Says

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City is aiming to reduce carbon emissions over the next two decades, eventually going carbon neutral by 2045, Mayor Brandon Scott said Tuesday.

The city hopes to reach a 30% reduction in emissions in three years, and then a 60% reduction by 2030. In addition to the environmental benefits, Scott said Baltimoreans could see savings on their energy bills.

"From the start of my administration, I have made it clear that sustainability and improving the lives of all residents is a priority," said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. "Ensuring that Baltimore is carbon neutral by the earliest possible date is a key part of my administration's work to build Clean and Healthy Communities. Our young people deserve the chance to grow up and enjoy everything that our city and our planet have to offer."

As part of the effort, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability is planning to update the city's Climate Action Plan.

"Among our city's challenges is the urgent need to respond to the climate emergency and chart a path for Baltimore toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions while also working to adapt to existing threats, such as extreme heat and flooding," said Lisa McNeilly, Director of the Office of Sustainability. "We are being proactive and updating Baltimore's carbon neutrality goals to pave the way for us to tackle climate change head on."

The mayor lauded a package of legislation advancing through the Baltimore City Council -- all sponsored by Councilman Mark Conway -- that "will put the City of Baltimore at the forefront of setting climate resiliency goals for the region."

The four bills would require city government to purchase zero-emission vehicles for its fleet, update code to require "cool roofs" on any building erected with city funding, curb greenhouse gas emissions from city operations by 2050, and establish a Zero Waste Commission.

"Today, flooding and the urban heat island disproportionately impact underserved neighborhoods and Black and brown communities," Conway said. "No tool or strategy should go unused in this fight, and the administration's goal and accompanying benchmarks will mean Baltimore is doing its part."

Scott said the city has made progress on the 2012 Climate Action Plan by implementing green building codes, adopting the the Baltimore Complete Streets Manual, adding bike lanes and 50 new electric vehicle charging stations, and expanding the use of solar power.

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