- Clean-energy supporters at Acadia Center have completed a report finding certain changes will be necessary to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in order for it to align with new carbon mandates, including extending the RGGI cap to at least 2030.
- Thus far the Northeast regional effort aimed at reducing emissions has seen a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, $630 million in energy efficiency funding, and $2.3 billion in consumer savings.
- The RGGI emissions cap extends only until 2020, however, and will need to be extended in order to be consistent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.
The Northeast's regional greenhouse gas initiative has already yielded significant reductions and generated savings, but a new report finds some changes will be necessary for the benefits to continue alongside the federal government's plan for reducing carbon.
Among the proposed changes, the RGGI cap would be extended; the cap's reduction trajectory will need to be corrected to deliver long-term emissions reductions; and the Cost Containment Reserve will need to be removed or altered.
"Unless states correct the cap trajectory, they will be allowing four times as much climate pollution in 2050 as they would under the more univerasally accepted fixed quantity approach," the report estimated.
“Modifications to RGGI will build on the many successes that the program has already had, and ensure that we continue to see CO2 emissions decline and investments in clean energy increase,” Daniel Sosland, president of Acadia Center, said in a statement.
The report also looks at accounting for renewables, the role of offsets, and ways other states can participate in RGGI.
“With final EPA targets set to be released this summer, these changes will allow the RGGI states to demonstrate that the program can meet federal requirements, while providing a clear blueprint for other states wishing to adopt emissions trading programs,” said Jordan Stutt, a policy analyst at Acadia Center.
Final regulations for the government's Clean Power Plan are expected out this summer; the EPA is targeting a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.