The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a cooperative effort by several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. RGGI is the first mandatory, market-based effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
As of April 1, 2012, the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont are members of RGGI. These nine states have capped CO2 emissions from the power sector within their states and have also required a 10% reduction in these emissions by 2018.
Each RGGI state has an individual CO2 Budget Trading Program. These programs are implemented through state regulations and/or legislation, but are regionally linked through CO2 allowance reciprocity, meaning an allowance issued by any participating state will be recognized by the other participating states. Due to this reciprocity, the RGGI states comprise a single regional carbon allowance market.
The RGGI participating states have each chosen to auction nearly all CO2 allowances and to invest the proceeds in consumer benefit programs to build a clean energy economy. These investments reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate important consumer benefits, including lower energy bills, greater electric system reliability, and more jobs.
Pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by NYSERDA and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), NYSERDA is responsible for administering periodic auctions for the sale of the emissions allowances. The proceeds from the sales of these allowances will be used by NYSERDA to administer energy efficiency, renewable energy, and/or innovative carbon abatement programs, and to cover the costs to administer such programs.
NYSERDA Part 507 is designed to complement the CO2 Budget Trading Program established by DEC Part 242. These two regulations establish the framework for the RGGI program in New York.
In addition to administering the auctions and investing the proceeds through a comprehensive portfolio of programs, NYSERDA is also responsible for interacting with the other RGGI states on key program design issues, technical analysis, and policy issues.