​​​​Maryland is committed to finding real bipartisan, common sense solutions to protect our environment, combat climate change, and improve our air quality. By working together, we are showing that it is possible to find consensus to protect our natural resources, promote clean energy, and grow our economy for current and future generations.
Governor Larry Hogan
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Regional Greenhouse Gas Intitative (RGGI) in Maryland

RGGI News

RGGI is proposing changes to the program that builds on past successes and continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovative approaches. The proposed actions bring the RGGI states closer to the conclusion of a program review process lasting over a year and incorporating comprehensive feedback from stakeholders and experts gathered through eight public meetings. More than 120 separate comments were submitted by experts, policymakers, and organizations, as well as more than 29,000 personal comments and petition signatures.

Science has demonstrated with a high degree of certainty that Earth's climate is being altered by human activities, principally by the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere.1 According to the 2014 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), "effective adaptation and mitigation responses will depend on policies and measures across multiple scales: international, regional, national and sub-national".2

The actions Maryland takes to mitigate climate change at the state level are integral to protecting the future and prosperity of not only the state of Maryland but also the United States of America and the global community to which it belongs.

The RGGI Program is a fundamental component of Maryland's GHG reduction strategy. As the first program of its kind in the United States, RGGI serves as a model and inspiration to other states and regions to either participate in RGGI or implement their own regional CO2 trading initiatives.

Program Overview

RGGI is a cooperative effort by nine northeast and mid-Atlantic states to reduce CO2 emissions generated by fossil fuel-fired power plants while maintaining affordable and reliable electricity service. Maryland formally began participation in RGGI in 2007 by signing the Second Amendment to the RGGI Memorandum of Understanding. Other states currently participating are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

RGGI is structured as a "cap and invest" program, with a regional cap or limit on CO2 emissions that declines by a certain percentage annually. States are allocated a portion of the total cap, which they distribute as "allowances" permitting the holder to emit one short ton (2,000 lbs.) of CO2 per allowance. Each state participating in the regional initiative has developed its own program and regulations based on a fundamental blueprint provided by the RGGI Model Rule (2013). States sell a majority of emission allowances at regional quarterly auctions, and auction proceeds fund various state and local programs which promote energy efficiency, renewable energy or other consumer benefits. In this way, emission reductions are addressed from the perspective of both supply and demand.

The RGGI states are currently engaged in a program review to determine the regional cap, reduction percentage, allocation and other program elements moving forward from 2020. This review includes an extensive modeling process executed by a contracted third party, as well as robust stakeholder and expert involvement, to inform the best possible decision for the continued advancement of program goals. 

Upcoming stakeholder meetings may be found on the MDE calendar and the RGGI website.

RGGI Participating States

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1Maryland Commission on Climate Change Scientific and Technical Working Group, 2015. Appendix 1 of 2015 Maryland Commission on Climate Change Report. "Reducing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases Beyond 2020".
2Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014. Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.