Environment Maine Research & Policy Institute
Over the last decade, northeastern states have built a track record of successful action to reduce global warming pollution. By working together across state lines and partisan divides—and developing innovative new policies to hasten the transition to a clean energy economy—the Northeast has succeeded in cutting emissions while safeguarding the region’s economic health.
Between 2000 and 2009, the 10 northeastern states1 that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cut per capita carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent faster than the rest of the nation—even as the region’s gross product per capita grew 87 percent faster than the rest of the United States. The region is on pace to achieve the ambitious emission reduction goals set over the last decade. Much more remains to be done to protect the region from the impacts of global warming, but the experience of the past decade provides hope that smart policies and an ethic of cooperation can result in a rapid reduction in global warming pollution even as the region’s economy continues to grow. Northeastern states have been pioneers in the effort to reduce fossil fuel pollution, leading the way in demonstrating effective policies to promote a clean energy economy and reduce emissions.