New York: A leader in the fight against global warming

For more than a decade, New York has been at the forefront of national efforts to shift to clean energy and to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming.  

By adopting strong policies, including a cap on the state’s global warming emissions, clean cars standards, renewable energy standards, strong energy efficiency programs, and tough emission standards for power plants, our state has shown that taking action to reduce global warming pollution can work. 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a global warming program that works

In 2005, New York officials joined with Connecticut, Delaware, and other states in the Northeast to establish one of the most important global warming reduction programs in America — the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). 

RGGI has broken important ground. It’s the first program in the United States to limit global warming emissions from power plants, make polluters pay for permits to emit carbon and invest the revenues in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives. Even more importantly, RGGI is a model for the country. It has demonstrated that other states, other regions, and the nation as a whole could use a similar model to reduce emissions. 

RGGI has been a tremendous success. New York has already invested nearly $238 million dollars of RGGI revenues in programs that improve energy efficiency and accelerate the development of cleaner energy sources.  RGGI has also contributed 4,620 new jobs and $326 million in economic growth in our state.

New York must hold the line since RGGI is under attack in Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Fossil fuel interests, led by Americans for Prosperity and other anti-regulatory ideologues, emboldened by the 2010 elections and the tough economy, have convinced their allies in several states to support killing RGGI.  As a result, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Maine’s Governor Le Page have all announced their opposition to RGGI, and have attempted to kill or weaken the program. Backsliding on this precedent-setting policy would have serious repercussions in the overall debate on the response to global warming. 

RGGI is only as effective as the participating states allow it to be. That’s why it’s so important for New York to hold the line by actively supporting RGGI and making it even stronger in our state.

Fortunately, there is strong public support in New York for reducing pollution from power plants and shifting to clean energy.  Environment New York staff are working with a suite of partners to convince state officials that RGGI is critical to New York’s efforts to meet our energy and environmental goals.   

With your support, we can strengthen RGGI and cut global warming pollution

In December, we worked with our allies to sign on 250 environmental groups, clean energy businesses, and public health officials to a set of principles to strengthen the program. We presented these principles to the top energy and environmental officials in the other Northeast states in RGGI.

In January, New York officials joined officials from Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont in announcing their intention to begin the process of strengthening the RGGI emissions cap.  

We’re making progress — but we need your support to defend and strengthen RGGI. Join our campaign today, and urge Gov. Cuomo to strengthen RGGI so we can expand New York’s efforts to reduce global warming pollution from power plants and shift to clean energy.

Global Warming Updates

Report | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

RGGI: A Double Success

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a central strategy in the Northeastern states’ efforts to protect the region from global warming. The program, which took effect in 2009, has succeeded in cutting carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrating the effectiveness of cap-and-trade as a global warming solution while helping to sustain a growing regional economy.

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News Release | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

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Report | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

Wind Energy for a Cleaner America

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Report | Environment New York Research & Policy Center

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