Achieving Climate Commitments: Strengthening RGGI to Achieve State and Federal Requirements
BOSTON — Part II of Acadia Center’s status report on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Achieving Climate Commitments, describes reforms that northeast and mid-Atlantic States need to implement during the 2016 Program Review to achieve state and federal greenhouse gas reduction requirements, including:
- Aligning the emissions cap with states’ GHG reduction requirements and extending the cap to 2031.
- Adjusting for banked allowances to preserve RGGI’s effectiveness.
- Strengthening the Cost Containment Reserve to prevent inflation of the RGGI cap.
“RGGI continues to prove itself as an effective means of reducing carbon emissions and supporting economic growth. Now, northeast and mid-Atlantic states have an opportunity to build on RGGI’s success and lead the country by taking the steps necessary to meet state and federal climate requirements,” said Daniel L. Sosland, Acadia Center President.
Each of the RGGI states has committed to reducing emissions by approximately 40% across their economies by 2030, and eight of the nine participating states have established 2050 requirements for 80% reductions. By reducing emissions in the electric sector — and reducing emissions associated with electricity use in transportation and heating — RGGI will play a central role in achieving state requirements.
“RGGI is one of the most effective tools for states to reduce climate pollution,” said Peter Shattuck, Director of Acadia Center’s Clean Energy Initiative. “RGGI can and should play a central role in achieving commitments states have made to address climate change.”
Reforms to RGGI are also being considered in the context of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants.
“As other states develop initial plans to meet the base requirements of the Clean Power Plan, RGGI states can be climate leaders and go above and beyond minimum federal requirements,” said Jordan Stutt, Policy Analyst at Acadia Center and lead author of the report.
The report builds on Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Status Report, Part I: Measuring Success which describes RGGI’s accomplishments since RGGI’s launch, including: 37% emissions reductions and a 3.6% decline in region-wide electricity prices. 16% more emissions reductions and 3.6% more economic growth than other states.
For more information on Part I of the RGGI Status Report, Measuring Success see: acadiacenter.org/document/measuring-rggi-success
For more information on Part II of the RGGI Status Report, Achieving Climate Commitments see: acadiacenter.org/document/rggi-achieving-climate-commitments
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