COLLEGE PARK– On a cold Saturday before the 2020 Maryland General Assembly legislative session, over four hundred Marylanders came together for an inspirational day to fight the climate crisis. Rebuild Maryland: Climate Action Summit was hosted by a coalition of advocacy groups large and small — faith leaders, labor activists, environmental groups and community members. With a little over a decade left to make real progress in stopping the impending climate crisis, it’s imperative that our leaders come together for real policy solutions.
As one of the most vulnerable states to rising sea level changes and worsening air quality, this conference poises Maryland to be a national leader to fight the climate crisis. Demonstrating a groundswell of wide-ranging support for Maryland’s leaders to take more action to mitigate the climate crisis, these groups are ready for solutions. The day was packed with inspiring speakers and breakout sessions for participants to collaborate on climate solutions.
The day’s speakers included climate student activist Kallan Benson, Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, and various state legislative champions such as the senate chair of the Education, Health, & Environmental Affairs Committee Paul Pinsky, and renewable energy champion Delegate Lorig Charkoudian.
“The only way we can combat the climate crisis is by coming together as a community,” said Maryland LCV’s new Executive Director Kim Coble. “The conference is just the beginning of the conversation for the upcoming legislative session and a true testament to the people power of the climate movement. It is time to turn what science has told us to do into policy actions that will ensure we are doing what needs to be done.”
“Faithful congregations across Maryland have been taking action for years to lower their carbon footprint and shift to clean, renewable energy,” said Joelle Novey, Director of Interfaith Power and Light (DC.MD.NoVA). “The Governor’s plan, on the other hand, is a year late and offers far too little. We are thrilled to see people of faith and Marylanders of all backgrounds coming together to put forth an alternative plan to rebuild Maryland, one that honors science—the testimony of our natural world—and cares for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
“The hundreds of farmers, business leaders, scientists, faith leaders, medical professionals, students, and retirees who spoke up today for bold climate action are just a small sample of the Maryland that Gov. Hogan does not see,” said Steven Hershkowitz, Maryland Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “The reality is, a strong majority of Marylanders do care about protecting our current and future generations from the climate crisis and are waiting for the transformation change necessary to Rebuild Maryland.”
The conference was co-sponsored by: Maryland Climate Coalition, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club, Interfaith Power & Light, Maryland Legislative Coalition, 350 dot org, Howard County Sunrise, HoCo Climate Action, MoCo Students for Climate, Climate Law & Policy Project, ClimateXChange, Maryland League of Women Voters, Takoma Park Mobilization Environment Committee, Climate Reality Montgomery County, Elders Climate Action, DoTheMostGood, Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition, Envision Frederick County, Young Voices for the Planet, Friends of the Earth US.
The Maryland Climate Coalition brings together environmental, faith, health, labor, and civic organizations to advance clean energy and climate policies in Maryland. For more information about the Maryland Climate Coalition, visit http://www.marylandclimatecoalition.org.
Contact:Jonathan Lacock-Nisly, Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA), cell 202-525-9397