According to a Climate Action Progress report, Montgomery County, Maryland, saw a 30% decrease in communitywide greenhouse gas emissions between 2005 and 2020.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) GHG emission inventories said that the gas emissions decrease actually took place in spite of the 13% population growth in the county during that time.
COG performed a GHG Contribution Analysis for the county to highlight the key factors of decreasing and increasing emissions, which led to an overall decrease in carbon emissions, a news release said.
According to the analysis, population growth, commercial space and hydrofluorocarbons played a role in increased emissions. What brought emissions down was a cleaner grid, a decrease in commercial electricity use and a decrease in vehicle miles, according to the release.
“This inventory demonstrates that in every sector of our County — from our businesses to our residents and local governments — we are successfully working together to bring down greenhouse gas emissions,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement.
“Our Countywide efforts, including moving toward electrification and away from fossil fuels, encouraging electric vehicle adoption, planting more trees and making it easier and safer for people to bike and walk, are all contributing to our goals to cut GHG emissions 80 percent by 2027 and 100 percent by 2035.”
Montgomery County said the growth of renewable energy technologies played a role in decreasing GHG emissions between 2005 and 2020. Also, the number of third party certified green buildings went up from 10 to 799. The county’s grid-connected renewable energy systems counting rooftop solar installations, went up from around 200 in 2005 to over 11,600 in 2020, according to the release.
Emissions from buildings and transportation across the D.C. area saw a significant decrease in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.