Rhode Island

Rhode Island has made significant progress on climate action, passing the 2021 Act on Climate to establish a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Daniel McKee (D)

House: 65 (D, supermajority) ǀ 10 (R)

Senate: 33 (D, supermajority) ǀ 5 (R)

U.S. Climate Alliance Member

Key Resources

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2030:

45%

By 2040:

80%

By 2050:

Net-zero

All targets relative to 1990 levels

2019 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
Source: EPA State Inventory Tool (SIT)

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 (2021)

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 (2008)

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

Office Designation

Executive Order 17-10 (2017) – Appoints a Chief Resilience Officer and requires state agencies to appoint “resiliency coordinators”

Task Force/Advisory Group

Cabinet Commissions and Committees

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

Adaptation and Resilience Plans

Action Plans

Resilient Rhody (2018)

Assessments

Frameworks

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

S 689 (2020) – Establishes building construction standards to account for sea level rise

Built/Hard Infrastructure

Grid Resilience Measures

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

State Funding

Development Funding

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

Disaster Relief Funding

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

38.5% by 2035

Legislation

HB 7413 (2016)

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*

*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.

Grid and Utility Reform

Clean Energy Plan

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

Buildings & Efficiency

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Building Energy Codes

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Statewide code – 2015 IECC

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

Statewide code – 2015 IECC

Stretch or Reach Codes

*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.

Efficiency Programs and Incentives

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 2 out of 4*

Energy Auditing Programs

Retrocommissioning Programs

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 5 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Standards and Market Mechanisms

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

S 0339 (2021)

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings Data Disclosure

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards and Incentives

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

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

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.

State Planning and Investment

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Decarbonization Plan

EV and EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

EV Transit Bus Deployment

The ACEEE Transportation Electrification Scorecard analyzes the level of investment and policies states adopt to procure electric transit buses. States can earn up to 6 points.

ACEEE Score – 1 out of 6 points

Bicycle Friendly State

The League of American Bicyclists’ State Report Cards evaluate and rank the safety and efficiency of active transportation systems across all 50 states.

50-state Ranking – 30th

Agriculture

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Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture Governance

Financial Incentives

Technical Assistance and Education Programs

Food Waste Bans and Targets

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

Mandate Source

R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 23-18.9-17 (2014)

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Regulations

HFC Regulations

250-RICR-120-05-53 (2021)

Methane Regulations

Carbon Pollution Pricing

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated March 2022