By Tim Cronin, Policy Associate
- On Wednesday leaders from 9 RGGI states announced a new, accelerated emissions reduction goal.
- RGGI has helped reinvest back into the state’s economy, and is expected to continue to create jobs and boost local businesses.
- Carbon pricing is still needed in addition to RGGI, and is the most effective way for the state to achieve its carbon emission requirements.
WHAT IS RGGI?
- The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a collection of nine northeast states cooperating to reduce carbon emissions.
- Includes: Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Connecticut.
- RGGI’s market based cap-and-trade program has already reduced emissions from the electric sector by 35% since 2009.
- On August 23, 2017, a bipartisan group of nine governors from RGGI states announced new, accelerated emissions reduction goals for the electricity sector.
MASSACHUSETTS EMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
- The accelerated emission reductions should help Massachusetts achieve part of its legal requirement under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).
- To be on track to achieve its GWSA reductions, Massachusetts must cut its overall CO2 emissions by about 20% between 2020 and 2030.
- Climate XChange estimates the new RGGI proposal would only contribute to 30 percent of that cut because RGGI only covers the electricity sector, leaving out transportation and other heavily polluting sectors.
- Putting a price on carbon in the remaining sectors is the most efficient way to reduce the remaining 70 percent of emissions.
RGGI & LOCAL BUSINESS
- Between 2012 and 2015, RGGI led to $1.3B in net economic benefits across the region.
- Electricity prices decreased on average 2% since RGGI took effect in 2009.
- Since 2009, RGGI has allowed Massachusetts to reinvest $306 million into energy efficiency, resiliency support, and alternative energy resource programs for local businesses.
- According to a 2014 DOER study, if implemented, carbon pricing would increase Massachusetts Gross State Product by over $600 million, and create over 12,000 jobs
Are you a business leader interested in taking action on climate change? Sign our business letter supporting carbon pricing in Massachusetts.