For the third consecutive year greenhouse gas emissions have fallen in the US states that are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). These nine states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) recorded a six percent decline in greenhouse gas emissions in 2013.
While some of this reduction is attributable to mild temperatures and the greater use of natural gas for power generation, it is also evidence that carbon trading initiatives are good for the planet.
Carbon emissions declined to 86 million short tons from 92 million tons in 2012. Electricity use was also down in four of the nine member states.
The nine states have capped emissions at 91 million tons for 2014 which represents a 45 percent reduction from the original cap. This will encourage more trading.
The five year old program has not been without its share of problems. The paramount issue has been an excess of carbon permits due the vast quantities of domestically produced natural gas, improved energy efficiency and a slow economy.
© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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