A greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target is a state-level goal to reduce emissions by a specific amount by a pre-determined date. The targets can cover all greenhouse gas emissions or specific gases (e.g., carbon dioxide only). The targets can be economy-wide or sector-specific, and they can also differ based on the baseline year that the state aims to reduce emissions below and the timeline for emissions reductions, including short-term, medium-term, and long-term targets. This map includes economy-wide targets that were established either through statutory action or legally binding executive action (e.g. a governor’s executive order). Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have established economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions targets.
States may also set “carbon neutrality” or “net-zero” targets. Under these targets, states commit to address their remaining greenhouse gas emissions through an equivalent amount of “emissions removals” or “avoided emissions.” For example, a state may invest in planting forests to absorb carbon dioxide emissions.