County Executive Leopold Signs Climate Protection Agreement
Annapolis, MD (January 25, 2007) - Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold today became the first County Executive in Maryland to sign the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement and join the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program.
"Environmental technology presents an opportunity not only for decreasing pollution, but creating jobs," County Executive Leopold said. "Environmental protection and economic development are not mutually exclusive. Clean air and clean water saves lives and improves the health of future generations. This agreement encourages technological innovation."
Nationwide, 375 mayors from 50 states have signed.
The agreement calls upon cities, communities and the federal government to meet or beat the principles of the 2005 Kyoto Protocol, which requires the reduction of global warming pollution. It sets an emissions reduction target of 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, and calls for policies that promote energy efficiency, green space preservation, air quality improvements, reduced traffic congestion, and job creation through new energy technologies.
"I am extremely pleased to have County Executive Leopold and Anne Arundel County committed to the goals of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement," said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, a founder of the agreement. "We need broad-based local action and a bipartisan voice demanding strong federal climate policy. Mr. Leopold's action adds another important voice to this campaign."
As a five-term member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Mr. Leopold voted for the Healthy Air Act, and fought efforts to reduce standards for power plant emissions. He also supported Critical Area laws and stronger energy-efficiency requirements.
As County Executive, he has moved to strengthen enforcement of environmental laws and expand the statute of limitations for criminal violations from one year to three.
"The Sierra Club is delighted that County Executive Leopold has taken this significant step to stop global warming," said Joan Willey, Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club’s Maryland Chapter. "This agreement sets out concrete steps the county can take to become more energy efficient, which will help protect the health and wellbeing of our citizens and our planet."