U.S. States & Regions
States and regions across the country are adopting climate policies, including the development of regional greenhouse gas reduction markets, the creation of state and local climate action and adaptation plans, and increasing renewable energy generation. Read More
On April 20, 2007, Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), officially joining his state to the first multi-state greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program in the U.S. Other participants include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. As members of RGGI, states agree to a regional cap-and-trade program covering power plant carbon dioxide emissions. RGGI aims to cap these emissions at approximately current levels between 2009 and 2015, and then reduce this level 10% by 2019.
On the same day, Governor O’Malley signed an executive order establishing a Maryland Climate Change Commission that will create a state action plan to address climate change. The Commission will assess the possible impacts of climate change; calculate Maryland’s contribution to the climate change problem; work together with various state agencies, energy providers, business leaders, and other groups to develop a greenhouse gas reduction strategy; and develop a plan for reducing the state’s vulnerability to sea level rise and other effects of climate change.
More Information on RGGI
Map of Regional Initiatives
Map of States with Climate Change Commissions
On April 20, 2007, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG), a 51-member group composed of representatives from business, utility, environmental, academic, and religious organizations. Private citizens, farmers, local government, and tribal leaders are also represented. The MCCAG is charged with developing a comprehensive set of state-level policy recommendations for reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions. The Advisory Group will also identify opportunities to promote energy-efficient technologies and clean, renewable energy resources that will enhance economic growth. The formation of MCCAG was a key component of the state’s Next Generation Energy Initiative, signed on December 12, 2006, which calls for more renewable energy, more energy conservation and lower carbon emissions. The Advisory Group’s final report is due to the Governor and legislature by February 1, 2008.
The following are examples of both enacted and introduced climate change legislation from around the country.
Economy-Wide Greenhouse Gas Reductions
This type of legislation establishes an economy-wide emissions target for the entire state.
Executive or legislative commissions examine the possible consequences of climate change for a state and the costs and benefits associated with addressing them, and develop recommendations for appropriate policies.
Often building on the work of their commissions, states design climate action plans tailored to their specific circumstances, seeking the most effective way to address climate change.
Several states have begun implementing either mandatory or voluntary reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from major sources. The Climate Registry is a non-profit organization that aims to measure and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions in a common, accurate, and transparent manner consistent across industry sectors and borders.
- Wisconsin Legislation
Greenhouse Gas Performance Standards for Electric Power
These requirements ensure that all electricity used in a state is produced with certain greenhouse gas emissions standards.
By law states have the option of either following federal emissions standards for cars and light trucks or following California's standards. Other states that have already adopted or are in the process of adopting the California standard include Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
- California AB 1493 (pdf)
Emissions Reductions in the Transportation Sector
In many states, transportation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Some states have enacted laws that aim to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the future.
Source: National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. For more information, visit the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators website.
On April 5, 2007, Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin signed two new executive orders as part of the state’s efforts to address climate change and energy issues. The first executive order creates the Task Force on Global Warming, which will investigate the potential economic and environmental impacts of climate change on Wisconsin and recommend possible solutions and strategies for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the state. It will also work with other government agencies to derive an estimate of current statewide emissions. The Task Force will include members from business, industry, government, energy, and environmental organizations. In a second executive order, Governor Doyle created a new Office of Energy Independence which will coordinate efforts to bolster the state’s bioindustry, energy efficiency, and energy independence initiatives. In collaboration with Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission, the office will work with utilities to build a clean coal electric generation facility in the state.
On April 4, 2007, Governor Joe Manchin III of West Virginia signed legislation establishing a new net greenhouse gas inventory for the state that covers emissions, reductions, and sequestration of six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydroflurocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The inventory covers all major stationary, area and mobile sources, such as power plants, waste combustors, natural gas/oil systems, landfills, and waste water treatment facilities, highway and non-road sources, and agricultural sources and shall account for geologic and terrestrial carbon sequestration. The legislation also creates a registry for the reporting of voluntary reductions of greenhouse gas emissions if the reductions are made before they are required by law, and will include the development of criteria for establishing baseline emissions, quantifying emission reductions and providing public recognition of reductions.
On April 3, 2007, Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas established a Governor's Commission on Global Warming with the signing of HB2460. The commission will study the potential impacts of climate change on the state’s environment and economy, and then recommend a global warming pollutant reduction goal and strategies for achieving it. Commission members will include representatives from the state government as well as many groups including scientific, energy, forestry, agricultural, and environmental organizations, among others. The Commission must report its findings by November 1, 2008.
January 16, 2007
Contact: Sibyl Nelson, (703) 516-0630
PEW CENTER ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE ANNOUNCES CALIFORNIA REPRESENTATION
Washington, DC—The Pew Center on Global Climate Change is pleased to announce that Joshua Bushinsky will be representing the Pew Center in Sacramento as its Western Policy Coordinator. Western state action is becoming increasingly important to the national and international climate debate as states develop innovative policy approaches to climate change. As the Western Policy Coordinator, Bushinsky will bring the Pew Center's policy experience to the development of climate policy in California and the West, while facilitating the constructive engagement of the Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council. He will also staff the California Environmental Protection Agency's Market Advisory Committee.
Mr. Bushinsky has worked as the State Solutions Fellow at the Pew Center for the past three years, providing technical support to state and regional initiatives, including the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Western Governors' Clean and Diversified Energy Initiative. He also oversaw the production of the Pew Center's Climate Change 101 series of reports and has spoken extensively on state and regional climate policy. Mr. Bushinsky holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University.
The Pew Center was established in May 1998 by The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the United States’ largest philanthropies and an influential voice in efforts to improve the quality of the environment. The Pew Center is an independent, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
The Center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) is the largest U.S. based association of companies devoted to advancing solutions on climate change. The BELC comprises 42 major companies in diverse sectors, with combined market value exceeding $2.4 trillion and more than 3.3 million employees. Members lead by reducing emissions, developing climate-friendly technologies and services, and publicly supporting sound public policy. The Center accepts no funding from corporations.
Capturing the Emerging Market for Climate-Friendly Technologies: Opportunities for Ohio
Prepared by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Increasing certainty that humans are changing the earth’s climate through emissions of greenhouse gases is creating a new market for climate-friendly products and services. As states and nations begin to address climate change by regulating greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging the use of clean energy, demand is growing for technologies such as wind power, biofuels, and cleaner coal power plants. Ohio’s manufacturing and agriculture sectors are already providing some of these solutions, and the state’s economy stands to benefit as a supplier of the technologies and strategies to tackle climate change. This paper briefly describes the factors driving the growing demand for climate-friendly technologies, some of the key existing companies, organizations, and resources in Ohio, and the potential for Ohio to become a leading supplier of climate solutions. These solutions include a new generation of lower-emitting coal technologies, components for wind turbines, and the feedstocks and facilities to produce biofuels. The paper concludes with recommendations for how Ohio can capitalize on these emerging opportunities. These recommendations include focusing and coordinating state funding of climate technology programs, promoting the development of climate-related industry clusters, and exploring export opportunities to states and countries with existing carbon constraints.
On November 8, 2006, voters in Boulder, Colorado, passed the first energy tax in the nation designed to fund efforts to fight global warming. This Climate Action Plan Tax on greenhouse gas emissions-generating electricity is collected by the local electric utility based on the amount of electricity used by customers. The tax only applies to electricity generated from the combustion of carbon-emitting fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas; customers signed up through a voluntary program to receive some or all of their electricity from wind power will be exempt from the tax for the carbon-free share of their electricity use. On average, the tax will add about $1.33 per month to household electricity bills, and $3.80 per month for businesses. The collected revenue, estimated to be about $1 million a year through 2012, will be used by Boulder’s Office of Environmental Affairs to help the city meet the goals set under its 2006 Climate Action Plan, which include investment in renewable energy sources, energy efficiency for buildings, and transportation initiatives. The city’s plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
On November 7, 2006, Washington state voters approved ballot initiative 937, setting renewable energy standards for utility companies in the state. The measure requires all utilities serving 25,000 people or more to produce 15% of their energy using renewable sources by 2020. Such sources include wind, solar, and tidal power as well as landfill-methane capture. With the initiative’s approval, Washington becomes the 23rd state to implement a renewable portfolio standard. Washington is the second state to adopt an RPS by ballot initiative, following Colorado's passage of an RPS in 2004.