February 2021 Featured Partner of the Month

Dear Readers,

My name is Janet Redman and I work for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN). I am writing about an exciting opportunity for to be a part of our 16th Polar Bear Plunge for the Planet!  We are thrilled to announce that Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org international, is our keynote speaker. We’re setting a record-breaking goal of raising $200,000 in the first ever national Polar Bear Plunge for the climate! With a new year and a new administration, our mutual goal of tackling climate change is reachable. We know many of the solutions and finally have the political will to implement them. This is an opportunity to send a message that climate must be a top priority in 2021, while also having fun and raising funds for climate work.

You may be wondering “What is a Polar Bear Plunge?” For the past 15 years, hundreds of passionate climate activists have run or jumped into the icy cold Potomac River, a stone’s throw from our nation’s capital, to raise money for climate action. Before taking the plunge, participants raise money from sponsors – friends, family, and peers – to #TakeThePlunge and support CCAN’s vital mission.

There is a twist this year, which we hope will make it even easier for your group to participate. Due to the pandemic, CCAN’s 16th Plunge will be virtual (or, Brrrr-tual, as we’re calling it!) and national. Plungers can take the plunge in their own backyards with an icy climate-bucket challenge, jump into an ice-water-filled bathtub, or hop in a nearby stream. Since it’s virtual, anyone, anywhere in the nation can participate! Watch this video to learn more. We have long partnered with non-profit 501c(3)’s with an organizational bank account, and you or your organization can join the Polar Bear Plunge as a fundsharing team.

  1. Go to keepwintercold.org and click “Take the Plunge” to begin setting up your account.
  2. You will be prompted to either join a team or create a team, create your team!
  3. You can customize your team and personal profile, and there is a great Plunger Toolbox to assist you with your fundraising efforts!

If CCAN is new to you, here’s a little more about us: We are the first grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming, and we’ve been in the ring for over 18 years. We focus primarily on bringing more clean energy and less fossil fuels to the Chesapeake region (MD, DC, and VA), and work on national campaigns. Given our proximity to the nation’s Capital, we’ve long been climate “first responders” when it comes to mobilization. But, we’re also using our influence with powerful members of Congress to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their decades-long climate denial and will be working HARD to get national climate policy on the books this winter.

P.S. Neighborhood Sun is joining us for a 4th time this year as a plunge sponsor!  You can view their page and contribute to their team here.

Climate Solutions Now

We need to move to 100 percent clean and renewable energy, greatly expand public transit and accelerate the conversion to electric vehicles, retrofit existing buildings and construct “zero emissions” new buildings, and sequester carbon pollution in forestry and healthy soils. We will need to do so in a way that protects workers and invests in communities that are on the frontlines of the climate crisis or have historically seen racial discrimination.

We can take the first step in that work by strengthening our climate plan in 2022. Climate Solutions Now will align our emissions reduction targets with the world’s leading science and reposition Maryland as a climate leader. It will require fixes to our state’s flawed climate plan and take some immediate climate actions, from planting millions of new trees to increasing energy efficiency. And it will lay the groundwork for an equitable transition to a new, clean economy.

Our proposed bill will:

Align Maryland’s emissions reduction requirements with the latest climate science, by increasing our 2030 emissions reduction goal from 40% to 60% based on 2006 levels and get us to net zero emissions by 2045.

Improve the Maryland Department of Environment Climate Action Plan, requiring the agency to redevelop its plan with a few changes:

  1. MDE will be prohibited from claiming emissions reductions from the widening of highways. Research has been clear that adding lanes of highway leads to induced demand, encouraging more cars on the road and increasing vehicle-based emissions.
  2. MDE will have to use a 20-year timeframe for calculating methane emissions instead of a 100-year timeframe. Methane is a relatively short-lived pollutant and gets undercounted unless measured over twenty years.
  3. MDE will prohibit the use of carbon capture and storage technology as part of the emission reduction plan.

Invest in frontline and disadvantaged communities, requiring MDE to create a Climate Justice Workgroup, made up largely of environmental justice representatives, to identify frontline and disadvantaged communities and study whether they receive an equitable portion of climate investment.

Put workers first in climate action, creating a Climate Jobs working group will bring union leaders, legislators, industry representatives, and climate advocates to the table to develop a pro-worker climate plan.

Reduce greenhouse gas pollution now with the following actions:

  • Increasing Energy Efficiency: The bill increases our electricity efficiency requirements from 2% annual rate savings to 3%, moving Maryland into the top tier of the country.
  • Electrifying State Vehicles: The bill will require 100% of new state busses to be zero emission after 2022 and 100% of light duty vehicles to be zero emission after 2024.
  • Requiring Zero Emissions Public Buildings: The bill requires all new buildings with at least 25% of their funding coming from the state to meet net zero emissions building standards. Public schools, with the exception of one of the next five in each school system, are exempted.
  • Plant 5 Million Trees: To aid carbon sequestration, the bill will require the state to plant 500,000 additional trees every year for ten years. Ten percent of those will be planted in historically redlined, underserved urban communities.
  • Boost Rooftop Solar: The bill will require all new buildings with at least 25,000 square feet of roof space to to be solar-ready.
  • Invest in Healthy Soils: The bill sends $500,000 each year to the Maryland’s Healthy Soils Program to aid soil sequestration strategies.

Climate Solutions Now Is Funded By Fossil Fuel Fees Expanded Under the Hogan Administration

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