Howard County has released the draft report for HoCo Climate Forward: Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. The new version of the report builds on the Preliminary Report published in December 2022 and includes details on the plan’s strategies, actions and recommendations for implementation.

These actions address the impacts of climate change, make the county a model for energy independence and enhance resilience to future environmental challenges, with a focus on underserved communities.

HoCo Climate Forward is the culmination of nearly two years of extensive research and collaboration with nearly three dozen internal and external stakeholders and experts. The report includes extensive data and analysis of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to climate impacts. This action-focused plan will serve as a science-based and practical work plan for every department and level of county government.

The plan outlines a pathway to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 by increasing the use of renewable energy and becoming more energy independent, improving carbon storage capacity of soils, forests and other landscapes, reducing electricity and fossil fuel use, and minimizing the need for waste disposal. It also has a strong focus on strengthening community resilience to extreme weather events, such as flooding.

The public comment period for HoCo Climate Forward is open. Residents are encouraged to provide feedback by April 27 to [email protected].