Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz Vows to Combat Climate Change

Kevin Kamenetz

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has pledged to meet the greenhouse gas reductions outlined in the Paris climate agreement, after President Donald Trump said he was withdrawing the United States from the pact.

Kamenetz is among 1,219 elected and college officials and other leaders from across the nation who have signed the “We Are Still In” coalition, an initiative created to ensure the country remains committed to slashing carbon emissions.

Kamenetz said in a prepared statement he thinks the pledge, started by billionaire philanthropist, media mogul and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is a step forward to help fight climate change.

“Climate change poses one of the most significant threats to our state’s long-term health and prosperity,” Kamenetz said. “Unfortunately, President Trump would rather cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget than cut our country’s toxic emissions.”

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh, both Democrats, also signed the deal.

Last year, Kamenetz signed an executive order to help the county improve its carbon footprint.

The order outlined a plan to decrease electricity consumption from county government buildings, pumping stations and streetlights by 15 percent within five years. It also set a goal of utilizing renewable energy sources to generate or displace at least 20 percent of county government electricity consumption by 2022.

Kamenetz, a Democrat who is considering a run for governor, took a swipe at Republican Gov. Larry Hogan on Twitter for not bringing Maryland into the U.S. Climate Alliance. A dozen states, including neighboring Virginia, have joined the alliance to combat climate change, continuing a push started under former President Barack Obama.

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