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
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory U.S. cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide. RGGI sets a cap on emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants, and allows sources to trade emissions allowances. The program began by capping emissions at current levels in 2009, and aims to reduce emissions by 10% by 2018.
RGGI was established in December 2005 by the governors of seven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Massachusetts and Rhode Island both joined RGGI in early 2007, and Maryland joined in April 2007. New Jersey is no longer participating in the cap-and-trade program.
RGGI member states began a 2-year Program Review process in September 2010 to determine how the cap-and-trade program might be strengthened. After a series of stakeholder meetings, RGGI member states released an updated Model Rule to replace the original version that had been finalized in 2006. The updated Model Rule must be formally adopted by participating states through their required legislative and regulatory processes before it will have an effect.
February 7, 2013: RGGI member states release an updated Model Rule.
Novemer 19, 2012: RGGI member states announce the benefits of cap-and-trade revenue investments between 2009 and 2011.
May 26, 2011: Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey announces that his state will exit RGGI's cap-and-trade program as of January 1, 2012.
September 13, 2010: RGGI member states begin a 2-year Program Review process to assess the success of cap and trade and recommend changes.
March 18, 2009: RGGI member states conduct third allowance auction.
December 31, 2008: RGGI member states and RGGI observer Pennsylvania sign a Letter of Intent to develop a Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
December 17, 2008: RGGI member states conduct second allowance auction.
September 25, 2008: RGGI member states conduct initial allowance auction.
July 24, 2008: RGGI releases materials for initial allowance auction.
April 20, 2007: Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland commits his state to join RGGI, bringing the total number of participating states to ten.
January 30, 2007: Governor Donald Carcieri announces that Rhode Island will join RGGI.
January 18, 2007: Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts commits his state to join RGGI, making Massachusetts the eighth member state.
August 15, 2006: The seven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) release the final model rule for the program. The model rule provides a set of regulations for the structure and function of RGGI. Each state that intends to participate in RGGI must adopt this rule through legislation or regulation.
March 23, 2006: The seven RGGI states release the draft model rule, which, once finalized, will form the basis of state regulations to implement RGGI. The public is invited to comment on the draft model rule for 60 days, until May 22, 2006.
December 20, 2005: The governors of seven Northeastern states announce the creation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont sign a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to implement the first mandatory U.S. cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide. RGGI sets a cap on emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants, and allows sources to trade emissions allowances. The program will begin by capping emissions at current levels in 2009, and then reducing emissions 10% by 2019.
Report Highlights Benefits of RGGI CO2 Auction Investments (2/28/11)
RGGI-focused Presentations from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and the Georgetown Climate Center’s 2011 State and Federal Climate and Energy Policy Workshop
- Jared Snyder, Assistant Commissioner, Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
- David Littell, Commissioner, Maine Public Utilities Commission
Allowance distribution summary chart (Updated December 2011)
- Governor M. Jodi Rell (R), Connecticut
- Governor Ruth Ann Minner (D), Delaware
- Governor John Elias Baldacci (D), Maine
- Governor Martin O'Malley (D), Maryland
- Governor Deval Patrick (D), Massachusetts
- Governor John Lynch (D), New Hampshire
- Acting Governor Richard J. Codey (D), New Jersey
- Governor George E. Pataki (R), New York
- Governor Donald Carcieri (R), Rhode Island
- Governor James H. Douglas (R), Vermont
State Statutes and Rules for Implementation
- Connecticut: Public Act No. 07-242, "An Act Concerning Electricity and Energy Efficiency"; 22a-174-31, "Control of Carbon Dioxde Emissions/Carbon Dioxide Budget Trading Program"
- Delaware: SB 263, "An Act to Amend Title 7 of the Delaware Code Relating to a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and CO2 Emission Trading Program." Proposed Regulation No. 1147, "CO2 Budget Trading Program"
- Maine: LD 1851, "An Act to Establish the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Act of 2007"; Chapter 156, "CO2 Budget Trading Program"
- Maryland: Subtitle 26.09, Maryland CO2 Budget Trading Program (draft as of October 2007)
- Massachusetts: SB 2768, "The Green Communities Act of 2008"; 310 CMR 7.70, "Massachusetts CO2 Budget Trading Program"; 225 CMR 13.00, "DOER CO2 Budget Trading Program Auction Regulation"
- New Hampshire: HB 1434, "An Act Relative to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Authorizing Cap-and-Trade Programs for Controlling Carbon Dioxide Emissions"
- New Jersey: A4559, "The New Jersey Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Act"; Proposed Regulation, "CO2 Budget Trading Program"
- New York: Draft Part 242, "CO2 Budget Trading Program"
- Rhode Island: H5577, "An Act Relating to Health and Safety - Implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Act"
- Vermont: Title 30, Chapter 5, §255, "Regional Coordination to Reduce Greenhouse Gases"; Chapter 22, "Vermont CO2 Budget Trading Program"
On the September 2008 RGGI Auction
Statement from Eileen Claussen on September 2008 RGGI Auction
Judi Greenwald discusses the significance of the RGGI's first auction of emissions allowances on NPR's The Kojo Nnamdi Show. (September 24, 2008)
Find out what's being done in other states to combat climate change.
Furthering New Jersey’s commitment to combat climate change, Acting Governor Richard J. Codey adopted regulations classifying carbon dioxide as an air contaminant. The new classification was announced October 18, 2005, and amends several air pollution control rules. This announcement facilitates the state’s engagement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which aims to stabilize and reduce carbon dioxide emissions across nine Northeastern states.
Governor Don Carcieri announced Rhode Island’s intention to adopt California’s standards for motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions on October 13, 2005. The Governor cited concerns over climate change, air pollution and the threat to consumers of rising gasoline prices in the state’s decision. Beginning with new 2009 model year cars and trucks, these regulations mandate a 22 percent reduction of tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions by the 2012 model year and a 30 percent reduction by the 2016 model year. Connecticut projects that fuel savings will offset the costs of adding fuel efficiency and emission reduction technologies to new vehicles. Presently, Rhode Island’s transportation sector contributes 40 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
North Carolina Governor Mike Easley signed a bill establishing the Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change on September 27, 2005. In addition to House and Senate appointees, the 34-member commission will include leaders from the state power industry, the Manufacturers and Chemical Industry Council, the North Carolina Farm Bureau and Forestry Associations, environmental organizations and academia, among others. The commission is charged with addressing the threats posed by global warming and determining the costs and benefits of the various mitigation strategies adopted by state and national governments. The commission will also assess the state’s potential economic opportunities in emerging carbon markets. Based on its findings, the commission will determine the desirability of a statewide greenhouse gas emission goal and make recommendations for an appropriate path forward. Findings and recommendations are due to the General Assembly by November 1, 2006.
New Mexico Joins Chicago Climate Exchange
New Mexico became the first state to enroll in the Chicago Climate Change Exchange (CCX), the only carbon emissions cap-and-trade scheme currently active in the U.S. Members of CCX enter contractual agreements to cut their emissions. Depending on their performance, they can sell, bank, or purchase emission credits, which are traded daily over the Internet. Members of CCX include companies such as IBM, Du Pont, and Ford Motor Co. and cities such as Chicago, Oakland, and Boulder. The New Mexico state government will reduce its emissions 4% by 2006 and 6% by 2010. The state‘s entry into CCX is consistent with Governor Bill Richardson’s GHG emission reduction targets for the state. In June 2005 Governor Richardson signed an executive order setting statewide commitments to reduce New Mexico’s total greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2012, 10 percent below those levels by 2020, and 75 percent below 2000 levels by 2050.
Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill on August 1, 2005, increasing the amount of renewable generation required in the state. Texas implemented a renewable energy mandate in January 2002 that required 2,000 MW of new renewable generation be built in the state by 2009. The updated law increases this capacity requirement to 5,880 MW by 2015, which will meet about 5% of the state’s projected electricity demand. The legislation also sets a cumulative target of installing 10,000 MW of renewable generation capacity by 2025. In an effort to diversify the state’s renewable generation portfolio, the measure also includes a requirement that the state must meet 500 MW of the 2025 target with non-wind renewable generation.
Click on a link below to view a map and read descriptions of U.S. state and regional climate actions.
- Residential Building Energy Codes
- Commercial Building Energy Codes
- Green Building Standards for State Buildings
- Appliance Efficiency Standards
- Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs
See a table of all state initiatives (pdf)
Following more than five months of public comment and deliberation, the Illinois Commerce Commission adopted Governor Rod Blagojevich’s two- part Sustainable Energy Plan. On July 19, 2005, the commission passed a resolution that called for both Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards. To implement the RPS, Illinois utilities have agreed to acquire 2% of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2006, add another 1% every year, and reach the goal of 8% by 2013. Electricity generated from wind, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, biomass, and existing hydropower are considered renewable energy under this resolution. Under the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, utility companies will create new programs to reduce the increase in electricity demand 10% by 2008. This standard increases to an ultimate goal of reducing Illinois’ growth in electricity demand 25% by 2015. Both Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Corp. - the state's largest utilities – have said they will comply with the new standards.
Governor Donald Carcieri adopted appliance energy efficiency standards for Rhode Island when he signed the Energy and Consumer Savings Act on July 1, 2005. The Act sets minimum efficiency standards for 14 appliances. Some of these appliance standards are based on the U.S. EPA and DOE’s Energy Star standards and California’s existing appliance standards. The standards are expected to reduce annual GHG emissions by 20,000 tons and save the state $225 million in reduced energy generation costs over the next 25 years. Rhode Island joins Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, New Jersey, and California in setting efficiency standards for household and commercial appliances.