State Legislation from Around the Country

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.

State Climate Change Commissions

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.

Climate Action Plans

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.

Greenhouse Gas Reporting

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.

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.

Greenhouse Gas Performance Standards for Vehicles

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.

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.