I’ve said it before (for example, here): Putting a price on carbon emissions would be the most effective way to bring about a transformation to a sustainable future. There are some implementations out there right now, but they’re often limited. Case in point: The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is cap-and-trade program covering the power sector in the Northeast. RGGI covers fossil-fueled power plants 25MW and larger within the nine-state region. It’s well functioning, but it’s limited, and analyses have concluded that it by itself hasn’t driven any emissions reductions.
But the fact that it’s been functioning for well over a decade means that it’s still a potentially powerful platform to drive change. Today, I signed a petition with the Sierra Club to ask Governor Baker to expand RGGI to the transportation sector. As the Union of Concerned Scientists points out, the transportation sector is larger than the power sector, in terms of its emissions. Expansion of RGGI to cover transportation may have a real impact.