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 (e.g., legislation) or legally binding executive action (e.g., a governor’s executive order), as well as governor-commission recommended targets. Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have established economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions targets. Three states have published recommended targets.
There were 5 states that had targets for emissions reductions for 2020: California, Connecticut, Oregon, Rhode Island, and New Jersey; California is the only state that met its 2020 goal.
Some states have 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.”