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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is a cooperative effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector.

How it Works

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auctions CO2 allowances to the power section to fund programs that aim to reduce emissions and pollution through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and carbon abatement technology.

In 2014, participating RGGI states set a cap of 91 million short tons of CO2 emissions. From 2015 to 2020, the RGGI CO2 cap declined by 2.5 percent each year before increasing to an annual decline of 3 percent from 2021 through 2030. This represents a steady decline in CO2 emissions from the power sector.

RGGI Inc. Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. is responsible for administering quarterly auctions of the CO2 emissions allowances. The proceeds from the sales of these allowances are used by NYSERDA to administer energy efficiency, renewable energy, programs for disadvantaged communities, and carbon abatement programs, and to cover the costs to administer such programs. These investments reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide consumer benefits, including lower energy bills, greater electric system reliability, and job creation.

Although each RGGI state has an individual CO2 Budget Trading Program, they 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.

Learn More About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

RGGI Regulations and Resources

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program has been implemented through two complementary regulations:

The use of RGGI auction proceeds is guided by the Climate Act Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., which requires that at least 35%, with a goal of 40% of benefits are directed to Disadvantaged Communities.

Following a recent comprehensive Program Review, New York along with the participating states announced a proposal to lower the regional emissions cap to approximately 75 million tons in 2021, declining 3.0 percent a year through 2030. Accordingly, NYSERDA has proposed revisions to the CO2 Allowance Auction Program as set forth in Part 507. These revisions complement changes that the Department of Environmental Conservation will be making to Part 242, which is the primary mechanism for regulation of CO2 emissions throughout the State. A copy of NYSERDA’s proposed revisions and accompanying Regulatory Impact Statement and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis can be found below:

The proposed rule was adopted by NYSERDA’s Board on December 1, 2020, and will become effective upon publication in the New York State Register.

Connect With Us

Contact NYSERDA regarding the New York CO2 Allowance Auction Program at [email protected].

Sign up for the New York State's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative stakeholders email list.