Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has passed new regulations to strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the country’s first regional program to limit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector.
The regulations, passed by the New York Department of the Environment and the New York Department of Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA), increase New York’s contribution to reducing the regional cap by 30% from 2021 to 2030, ensuring that regional emissions are the same are 65% below the starting cap by 2030 and will align the New York cap to the other participating RGGI states. These emission reductions support Cuomo’s requirements under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050 and to meet the state of the state challenge to the RGGI states in January 2017, the program continues to strengthen that brings environmental protection. health and economic benefits.
“The RGGI has not only set the standard for climate leadership over the past decade, it has also created the conditions for New York’s CLCPA,” says Cuomo. “Reducing the RGGI cap will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing valuable resources for expanding our clean energy economy. New York has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change and we will continue to help propel the nation toward a cleaner future. ”
With this update, the regional upper limit in 2030 will be 65% below the starting level of 2009. In addition, New York goes beyond many of its RGGI partner states by adding smaller units of peaking to the program, recognizing that most of these smaller sources are near New York’s communities for environmental justice – communities of color and low-income Communities disproportionately bear an unreasonable, unjust exposure to air pollution. The NYSERDA regulatory revision will also ensure that the investment of certificate auction proceeds will bring reasonable benefits to disadvantaged communities under the CLCPA.
Another important change to the RGGI program is the creation of the emission retention reserve (ECR). This new feature aims to ensure additional CO2 emissions reductions by auctioning fewer allowances if the cost of such reductions is lower than expected. The rules also simplify the program and ensure that power plant reductions continue by removing all offset categories except for emissions from livestock operations.
The RGGI is the first mandatory market-based program in the US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is a collaboration between the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont to limit and reduce CO2 emissions in the energy sector.
Further information on the RGGI can be found here.