Maryland’s Climate Agenda: A Step Towards Inclusivity for People with Disabilities

In an unprecedented move, Maryland’s leadership has taken a bold step to intertwine the fight against climate change with the advancement of disability rights. This initiative not only aims to protect the environment but also to foster an inclusive economy that recognizes the contributions and needs of people with disabilities.

A Pioneering Executive Order

Governor Wes Moore’s groundbreaking executive order marks a significant shift in climate policy. It mandates that every state agency must develop solutions that are inclusive of people with disabilities. This approach ensures that the state’s climate agenda is not just about reducing carbon emissions but also about creating a society that is equitable for all its citizens.

Maryland climate agenda disability rights

The executive order also aligns with the federal Justice40 goals, which aim to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of relevant federal investments to disadvantaged communities. This alignment demonstrates Maryland’s commitment to environmental justice and its understanding that climate change disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations.

The Intersection of Climate Change and Disability

The impacts of climate change are far-reaching and can exacerbate existing inequalities. People with disabilities are among the most affected by environmental crises, often facing greater challenges during natural disasters due to mobility issues, health concerns, and a lack of accessible emergency services.

Maryland’s climate agenda acknowledges these challenges and seeks to address them head-on. By including people with disabilities in the planning and implementation of climate solutions, the state is setting a precedent for how to create a more resilient and inclusive society.

Funding and Future Plans

The Moore-Miller administration has announced a substantial investment to support this inclusive climate agenda. A portion of the $90 million allocated from the Strategic Energy Investment Fund will be used to advance the implementation of the Climate Solutions Now Act and the Maryland Department of Environment’s Climate Plan.

These funds will be directed towards initiatives that uplift historically overburdened and underserved communities, including grants for electric school buses, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the electrification of community buildings. This financial commitment is a testament to Maryland’s dedication to building a sustainable future that leaves no one behind.


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