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 February 7, 2006, a bipartisan group of state legislators throughout the Midwest announced their commitment to address climate and clean energy in their states. These legislators from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, have introduced various pieces of legislation to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, vehicle emissions, and greenhouse gas registries. The legislators are also working to encourage coal gasification and carbon sequestration, a key issue for Midwestern states that rely heavily on coal-fired generation. The legislators are working with the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators to coordinate their actions. NCEL is a non-partisan organization of legislators committed to protecting the environment.
To promote environmental protection and economic opportunities for farmers, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency instituted the Illinois Conservation and Climate Initiative (ICCI) on January 26, 2006. ICCI is a voluntary program awarding farmers carbon offset credits for greenhouse gas (GHG) sequestration practices such as conservation tillage, planting grasses and trees and capturing methane from animal operations. After third-party verification of the offsets, credits will be sold to the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) through the nonprofit Delta Institute. The Chicago Climate Exchange is a market for trading greenhouse gas emission credits between members who have voluntarily adopted GHG emission reduction commitments. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Natural Resources will manage outreach and education programs to inform Illinois farmers about this opportunity to create value through agricultural carbon management.
On December 20, 2005, the governors of seven Northeastern states announced the creation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont signed 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.
RGGI Q & A
More information on RGGI
Visit the RGGI web-site
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
- On-Bill Financing
See a table of all state initiatives.