Today Montgomery County, MD (MOCO) upped the ante for local governments across the country.
Responding to pressure from local climate advocates, the County Council became the first county in the nation to declare a “climate emergency” and adopt the most rigorous goals currently being considered in the U.S. Congress: introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as the OFF Act in September.
The Council dramatically sped up its own timetable, to reach zero emissions by 2035.
“In this era of federal insanity, local governments must not settle for rubber stamping Paris, but step up and do enough to save us,” said Dr. Jim Driscoll, coordinator of the local chapter of The Climate Mobilization (TCM), which launched this effort.
Climate Mobilization founder Dr. Margaret Klein Salamon said, “We must call for complete decarbonization as soon as possible. Declaring a climate emergency and calling for global, national, state, and local mobilization for zero emissions and drawdown is a huge step forward for Montgomery County.”
Dr. Michael Mann, noted climate scientist and member of the TCM advisory board, concurred. “There is no carbon budget left to avoid catastrophe. We need every local government to follow Montgomery County’s example and get rid of all its emissions, not in thirty years, but ASAP.”
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip-Hop Caucus president and local resident said: “Wealthy communities like Montgomery County add far more that our share to climate change, while poor communities and those targeted by racism bear the brunt of its effects. I pray that others across the country will follow our lead.”
Finally, Jamie Raskin, who represents MOCO in Congress, put the County’s goals into national context. “I am proud to be one of the lead co-sponsors of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s bill setting the same numerical goals and timetable for the nation as my constituents have adopted for Montgomery County. We aim to build support for a policy we can implement when the federal government returns to rationality in this crisis.”