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The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

By Anna Goldstone, 17

What is it?

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is an agreement between states in order to reduce 30% of carbon emissions, from 2020 through 2030.

This program is implemented in the following states: NY, NJ, ME, MA, CT, NH, DE, MD, RI, VT, and VA. Pennsylvania is in the process of trying to get the initiative across the state, and Gov. Tom Wolf is using his executive powers to implement RGGI by the start of 2022. In January 2021, Wolf signed an executive order setting climate goals to reduce carbon emissions by 26% by 2025, 80% by 2050.

The initiative’s goals are planned to be achieved by capping the amount of CO2 emissions from the states’ electric power plants. Since the regional cap is the most important, individual states are selling or auctioning off their CO2 emissions allowances. The majority of CO2 emissions are auctioned and the money is used to invest in efficient energy programs, renewable energy, and consumer benefits and incentives.

The Benefits? 

With this program,  RGGI invests in the economy thereby providing a more sustainable future, lowering energy bills, creating new jobs in clean energy, and improving public health due to a decrease in pollution. Thus, this further helps support low-income minorities who are disproportionately affected by air contamination.

Why should PA join?

Pennsylvania has a huge impact considering they are the 2nd leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the electric sector.

What You Can Do?

Start a petition for a local county or state, vote for your senators, congressional staff, and commissioners or call and email their offices. If enough people take action, your state government will bring awareness and consideration to the issue. 

Also, it should be made clear that RGGI is implemented by states so the federal government is not involved in RGGI; however, there are other environmental protection bills on the federal level.

Petition to Join RGGI in PA

Ella’s Source: 

https://www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/climate/Pages/RGGI.aspx



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