Maryland Announces First State-Led Climate Leadership Academy

Association of Climate Change Officers to Administer Effort to Support Communities & INFRASTRUCTURE ORGANIZATIONS in CLIMATE ACTION Planning

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Daniel M. Kreeger

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 -- Cambridge, Maryland -- Maryland is launching the nation’s first state-sponsored Climate Change Academy to help local governments, critical infrastructure organizations and state agencies effectively plan for and implement climate change initiatives.

At a launch event on the first day of Maryland’s inaugural State of the Coast conference, elected officials along with senior state and local government decision-makers developed a vision for the academy and charted the first steps toward its inaugural 2018 class. By helping organizations develop key competencies, Maryland’s Climate Leadership Academy will be an important resource to help public and private sectors incorporate into their decision-making and planning.

“Under Governor Larry Hogan’s strong and independent leadership, Maryland is well-equipped to lead the country in driving creative, innovative and successful strategies aimed at addressing anticipated climate change-related impacts on our businesses, citizens and communities,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “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.”

The Academy’s launch meeting was convened by Secretary Belton and Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles.  The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) was contracted to administer the Academy.  Organizations represented in the initial planning session included several dozen cities and counties, the Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Maryland Energy Administration, Maryland Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Maryland.

“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,” said Daniel Kreeger, ACCO’s executive director. “We hope that other states will follow Maryland’s lead in taking bold steps to ensure an appropriate resource for their communities, as well as to shape policies that compel participation.”

Enrollment for the inaugural class of the Maryland Climate Academy will open later this summer and the first classes will begin in Fall 2018.  Additional information will be published at