The results so far are promising. The program has contributed to a 60 percent reduction in carbon pollution from power plants in those states since 2005.
“Since its 2005 launch, RGGI has cut emissions, delivered $9 billion in lifetime savings for consumers, and accelerated the region’s transition to cleaner energy,” said Ben Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment and Vice Chair of the RGGI, Inc. Board of Directors in March, 2020.
The program works by capping pollution from power plants, reducing those caps each year so the air keeps getting cleaner and cleaner. It also requires power plant owners to pay for their pollution, which prods them to cut their emissions even faster. Each state can then invest the money raised in energy efficiency and clean energy, which cuts global warming pollution even further.
For example, states have used RGGI funds to weatherize buildings, not only reducing pollution but also making homes and businesses more comfortable and saving people money on their energy bills. Funds have also gone to new solar panels and wind turbines, turbocharging the clean energy revolution throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.