Rhode Island

With a Democratic state government trifecta, Rhode Island has made significant progress on climate action.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Daniel McKee (D)

House: 65 (D, supermajority) ǀ 10 (R)

Senate: 32 (D, supermajority) ǀ 5 (R)

U.S. Climate Alliance Member

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2030:

45%

By 2040:

80%

By 2050:

Net-zero

All targets relative to 1990 levels

2018 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Other
Source: EIA State Energy Data System (SEDS)

Use the + icons in each policy area below to explore climate policy that has been passed at the state level, with links to relevant legislation and trackers. Policies in gray have not yet been passed in this state.

Climate Governance & Equity

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Climate Governance

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

45% by 2030 | 80% by 2040 | Net-zero by 2050 Relative to 1990 levels

Mandate Source

Mandatory – Chapter 42-6.2 – 2021 Act on Climate

Climate Action Plan

Climate Bureaucracy

Interagency Commissions/Task Forces

Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4)

Non-Governmental Advisory Bodies

EC4 Advisory Board

EC4 Science and Technical Advisory Board

State Climate Portal

Rhode Island Climate Change Portal

Lead by Example

ACEEE Score – 2 out of 2 points**

**The ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard analyzes the policies and programs states adopt to save energy in public sector buildings and transportation fleets. States can earn up to 2 points.

Equity

Environmental Justice Community Designation

Mandate Source

SOP Number BEP-AWC-1

Definition

“Environmental Justice Focus Areas” are defined as census block groups where the proportion of the population that is minority and/or low-income ranks in the top 15% of block groups in the state.

Include race? Yes | Include income? Yes | Include pollution burden? No

State EJ Mapping Tools

EJ Community Benefit Requirement

EJ Bureaucracy

Adaptation & Resilience

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Governance and Planning

Governance Structures

EO 14-01 (2014) – Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4)

Adaptation and Resilience Plans/Frameworks

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

S 689 (2020)

Built/Hard Infrastructure

Grid Resilience Measures

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

State Funding and Resources

S 35 (2011) – Ocean State Climate Adaptation and Resilience Fund

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

38.5% by 2035

Legislation

HB 7413

Distributed Generation/Solar Carve-out

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Net Metering

SPOT Components – 8 out of 11*

Energy Storage Standard

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Shared Renewables

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Grid and Utility Reform

Grid Modernization Plan

The GridWise Alliance’s Grid Modernization Index (GMI) evaluates and ranks the status of grid modernization efforts across all 50 states and D.C.

50-state Ranking – 19th

Interconnection Standards

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Utility Green Power Option

SPOT Components – 1 out of 6*

New Utility Business Model Proceeding

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Buildings & Efficiency

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Energy Codes and Standards

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

Stretch or Reach Codes

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

S 0339 (2021)

Efficiency Programs and Financing

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 2 out of 4*

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 5 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Market Mechanisms

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings Data Disclosure

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle (MHDVs) Sales Standards

Incentives and Market Mechanisms

Electric Vehicle Incentives

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Charging Infrastructure Incentives

SPOT Components – 0 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Agriculture

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Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture Governance

Financial Incentives

Technical Assistance & Education Programs

Food Waste Bans and Targets

Mandate Source

R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 23-18.9-17

Target or Ban

Food Waste Ban – Required for businesses and institutions that generate more than 2 tons of food waste per week

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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HFC Regulation

Carbon Pollution Pricing

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated Nov. 2021