New Report Describes Pathway to RGGI States' Carbon Reduction Goals

January, 21, 2016
Nick Martin
Energy Policy Associate
ClimateEnergy EfficiencyFuels & TransportationRenewable Energy

The Northeast has long been a leader in clean energy and climate action. The New York State Energy Plan establishes an aggressive goal to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030, and other states in the region have committed to similarly strong GHG emission reductions. The region has already taken important steps towards achieving their goal, most notably through the creation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), but additional action will be required.

The recently released report, The RGGI Opportunity, outlines how investments in energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and renewable energy can achieve the 40 percent GHG reduction by 2030 while producing significant benefits for the region. Produced by Synapse Energy Economics Inc. and the Sierra Club, in partnership with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Pace Energy and Climate Center, the report estimates that investments made to achieve GHG reduction goals will yield $5.2 billion in energy savings and create an average of nearly 50,000 new jobs per year.

The report models the most cost-effective pathway to achieving the 40 by 30 climate goal through greater energy efficiency, more wind and solar development, and the deployment of electric vehicles. A key result of the analysis shows that an aggressive reduction in the RGGI cap on electric sector emissions will be vital to achieving the states’ climate goals.

As the RGGI states undertake this year’s Program Review, there is an excellent opportunity to align the RGGI cap with the region’s climate commitments. RGGI is a proven method of effectively reducing GHG emissions and the states should continue to reduce the cap in order to achieve their goals.