Maryland is launching the nation’s first state-sponsored Climate Leadership Academy to help local governments, state agencies, nonprofits and the private sector prepare to address the impact of global warming.
State officials kicked off the initiative during a three-day State of the Coast conference taking place this week in Cambridge, laying out their vision for how the state can help stakeholders gird for climate change.
“Through the Climate Leadership Academy, we will support locally-designed and led efforts and initiative by providing a forum for community leaders to build their own capacity, convene with their peers and partners, and share best practices and results,” state Natural Resources Secretary Mark J. Belton said in a statement Tuesday.
Belton and Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles were among the officials who designed the academy. According to the state, they worked with the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, the Maryland Energy Administration, Maryland Sea Grant, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (which is based in Maryland), and the University of Maryland.
Both state officials and Daniel Kreeger, executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers, suggested that Maryland’s leadership academy could become a model for other states.
“Ensuring secure, healthy and prosperous communities in the face of a changing climate will require us to deploy a force of leaders across organizations and occupations that have the capacity to successfully address climate related risks and opportunities, and weave them into the DNA of their decision-making,” he said.
According to Kreeger’s organization, Maryland’s climate academy would attempt to:
Align climate action with economic development
Advance statewide preparedness and resilience
Scale up clean energy development and consumption
Engage the public to build better understanding of the threats of climate change
Develop goals and implementation strategies
Provide support for local action
Share and aggregate community and staff resources
Train stakeholders to institutionalize clean energy and climate preparedness into critical decision-making roles