News Analysis

Seven States Agree to Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

In December 2005, the governors of seven Northeast states agreed to the country’s first cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief contributor to global climate change. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, or “Reggie”) commits Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by the end of 2018.

The brainchild of New York Governor George Pataki, and the result of more than two and a half years of planning and negotiating, RGGI is set to take effect in 2009. The program calls for each state to cap the amount of carbon emissions its power plants release at approximately 1990 levels. The cap will remain constant through 2014, when it will gradually be reined in to result in a 10% reduction by 2019. RGGI is less stringent than the Kyoto Protocol, which would have required the U.S. to bring total greenhouse gas emissions 7% below 1990 levels by the end of 2012, had the government committed to it. Nonetheless, RGGI is being hailed by environmentalists as the country’s entrée into mandatory carbon regulations.

Published March 1, 2006

Boehland, J. (2006, March 1). Seven States Agree to Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Retrieved from