Adobe Stock/Simon Kraus

According to The Washington Post, Marc Elrich, the County Executive of Montgomery County, which borders Washington D.C., is proposing legislation that would require all new single-family houses — and possibly apartments and commercial buildings — to include rooftop solar panels starting in 2022. The wealthy suburb is home to a million people and is already wrestling with affordability issues and a housing shortage.

Elrich, a self-described “old-fashioned progressive,” was elected last year over opposition from business groups. They considered him anti-development, in part because of his opposition to high-density projects in areas of the county including downtown Silver Spring.

He told environmentalists about the solar-panel requirement at a “climate emergency” town hall on Sept. 14. In a phone interview Wednesday from New York City, where he was attending an international climate conference connected to the United Nations General Assembly session, Elrich said he intends to introduce the law in 2020 and have it take effect two years after that.

“If you’re not going to do stuff like this, you’re not going to reach any climate goals,” Elrich said, referring to the county’s resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2027, and 100 percent by 2035. “At some point, you’ve got to act. You can’t just say you’re going to do something.”

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