Assessing Prince George's County's Climate Action Plan

The Prince George's County draft Climate Action Plan includes ambitious goals and timetables, but falls short of recommended targets for emissions reductions in the transportation sector.

December 8, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Prince George's County, Maryland

Pamela Au / Shutterstock

In an opinion piece published in Greater Greater Washington, Bill Pugh reacts to Prince George's County's draft Climate Action Plan (CAP), calling for "a plan that helps create walkable, inclusive transit-oriented development that can drive economic prosperity and sustainable, equitable communities."

Pugh writes that while the CAP sets actionable goals and timelines and clearly illustrates the real impact of climate change, it does not go far enough to achieve the county's emissions reductions target. According to Pugh, the plan should take stronger action on transportation emissions, which make up the largest source of the county's greenhouse gas pollution. 

National energy experts at Rocky Mountain Institute show that to adequately reduce climate pollution from transportation, the United States must make sure a quarter of cars on the road are clean electric vehicles by 2030 and also cut the amount Americans need to drive by 20%.In contrast, Prince George’s climate plan falls short on both accounts: it calls for only 15% of cars, SUVs and pickups in the county to be electric by 2030 and seeks a meager 3.6% reduction in how much families and workers in the County have to drive on a daily basis.

However, the plan does propose new growth management policies and encourages infill development and affordable housing production, prioritizing development in dense, transit-accessible areas.

Pugh also recommends that the plan, which will be finalized in early 2022, include advocacy for regional efforts to build more affordable, transit-oriented housing developments.

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