BOSTON — A new report from Acadia Center shows that the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states’ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) continues to deliver for the economy, for the environment, and for public health. The program is driving down CO2 emissions, which have declined in each of the last 6 years and are down 40% since the program launched. The RGGI states have outperformed the rest of the country in emissions reductions and economic growth over this period, and the region has seen average electricity prices fall while prices have increased in the rest of the country. On top of all this, the program has driven substantial reductions in harmful co-pollutants, making the region’s air cleaner and its people healthier.
The report, Outpacing the Nation: RGGI’s Environmental and Economic Success, describes key trends and drivers, including the following:
- Emissions of CO2 fell 8.4% below the RGGI cap in 2016, and emissions have declined 40% since RGGI launched.
- Average electricity prices across the region have decreased by 6.4% since RGGI took effect, while electricity prices in other states have increased by 6.2%.
- RGGI states have reduced emissions 15% faster than other states and have seen 4.3% more economic growth since RGGI launched.
- Proposed RGGI reforms will result in 130 million fewer tons of CO2 and $1.28 billion in avoided health impacts through 2031.
“States in RGGI are demonstrating the power of bipartisan climate leadership,” said Daniel L. Sosland, Acadia Center President. “RGGI is a powerful example of an effective policy that drives economic, consumer, health and climate benefits while tackling a major challenge. Responsible leaders know we need to address climate change, and RGGI provides a readily available blueprint for success.”
“Launching RGGI took bold action from the region’s Governors, and thanks to that leadership the participating states have been reaping the rewards ever since,” said Peter Shattuck, Director of Acadia Center’s Clean Energy Initiative. “The current RGGI Governors have built on that success by strengthening the program for the future, ensuring that RGGI will continue to deliver benefits for years to come.”
“The RGGI states have shown that we don’t have to choose between ambitious climate policy and economic prosperity. In fact, RGGI’s track record has proven that ambitious climate policy can drive economic prosperity,” said Jordan Stutt, Policy Analyst at Acadia Center. “Now that the program for the electric sector has been strengthened and extended, we hope this proven model will be expanded to cover more states and applied to the region’s largest source of climate pollution: transportation.”
For more information, see: acadiacenter.org/document/outpacing-the-nation-rggi
Jordan Stutt, Policy Analyst
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Peter Shattuck, Director, Clean Energy Initiative
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Krysia Wazny, Communications Director
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