Climate emergency work group launches year-long planning effort

Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — For Barb Trader, environmental advocacy has been a life-long passion.

“I was at the first Earth Day back in 1972. Since then I’ve been really involved and interested in environmental issues,” Trader explained.

She is now the co-chair of the Climate Emergency Mobilization Work Group (CEMWG). The group got its start after both Frederick County and the City of Frederick drafted resolutions to acknowledge the risk of climate change and to take action to combat it.

“We have their commitment on paper that they won’t make decisions that are substantial without first considering how this will impact climate change and the threat this community faces,” Trader said. 

The work group of more than 50 members includes scientists, non-profit leaders, farmers, and more. The group is tasked with researching four main areas of concern: 

  • Energy, Transportation, and Buildings 
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Sequestration 
  • Health and Extreme Weather Adaptation and Resilience 
  • Public Engagement and Education 

“We have a tendency as a society to think that nature can repair itself all the time,” explained co-chair of the workgroup, Kevin Sellner, “There are thresholds, you can get to certain levels and Mother Nature cannot keep up with what mankind, humankind is doing.”

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped the newly-formed group from meeting online to begin their year-long assignment–a full report on recommendations for both the city and county to consider. 

The report is expected in September 2021 and aims to include legislative and community actions to meet the main goal of reducing county-wide and city-wide greenhouse gas emission 50 percent from 2010 levels by the year 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.

“What could we do here that we think might be workable?” Trader questioned, “Those are the kinds of things we’re looking at right now.”

CEMWG hosts public meetings virtually twice a month on alternate Thursdays from 5-7 PM. The next meeting is scheduled for 09/24. For more information, please visit cityoffrederickmd.gov.

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