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Maryland filled two new climate change jobs. The goal is to reduce emissions and handle disasters

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced two new positions on Wednesday aimed at addressing the causes and effects of climate change and other environmental threats.

Moore, a Democrat, appointed Meghan Conklin as the state’s first chief sustainability officer, who will focus on meeting the state’s environmental goals, including reducing emissions.

He also appointed Michael Hinson to be Maryland's first chief resilience officer, the governor’s office said in a news release. That role will oversee existing work to prepare for, adapt to, mitigate, and recover from all hazards and emergencies. That includes disasters that have increased in frequency and intensity due to climate change.

“Addressing the existential threat of climate change requires bold and decisive action. We must think strategically and we must address our present challenges to prevent future effects,” Moore said in the statement.

Conklin has more than two decades of experience in climate change, environment, and energy policy, the statement said. He served in senior roles in the Obama Administration, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hinson spent more than 10 years with the Howard County Office of Emergency Management, including more than three years as director. He previously served as deputy director and as a senior emergency management specialist in the office, assisting with recovery efforts after the 2016 and 2018 floods in downtown Ellicott City.