Global Warming Solutions
In a low-lying state like Rhode Island, the consequences of global warming—including rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and extreme weather events—pose a real and significant threat. With increasing public concern about extreme weather fueled by global warming, Rhode Island and the nation are taking serious steps to tackle global warming by reducing carbon pollution.
Rhode Island: A leader in the fight on global warming
For more than a decade, Rhode Island has been at the forefront of national efforts to shift to clean energy and to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming.
By adopting strong policies, including clean cars standards, renewable energy standards, strong energy efficiency programs, and tough emission standards for power plants, our state has shown that taking action to reduce global warming pollution can work.
RGGI: A regional success
In 2007, Rhode Island officials joined with Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states in the Northeast to establish one of the most important global warming reduction programs in the country — the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
RGGI has broken important ground. It’s the first program in the United States to limit global warming emissions from power plants, sell permits to emit carbon and invest the revenues in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives. Even more importantly, RGGI is a model for the country. It has demonstrated that other states, other regions, and the nation as a whole could use a similar model to reduce emissions.
Earlier this year, Gov. Lincoln Chafee and his administration joined other Northeast officials to announce program improvements to make power plant pollution in the Northeast decline by more than 20 percent in the next decade.
The Environmental Protection Agency can take on carbon pollution nationally
On a national level, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first-ever carbon pollution standards for new power plants, and the agency is expected to finalize these standards in the near future. Since we can’t possibly solve global warming if we keep building polluting power plants, these standards will be a critical step.
Looking forward, we’re urging the Obama administration to also develop carbon pollution standards for existing power plants as soon as possible. These facilities have been allowed to spew unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air for decades, so these standards are long overdue—and essential for our efforts to tackle global warming.
- Rhode Island's 400 miles of coastline put us at increased risk from sea level rise and extreme weather events associated with global warming.
- Rhode Island has been a leader in reducing global warming emissions by enacting clean cars standards, renewable energy standards, and strong energy efficiency programs.
- By adopting clean energy policies at the local, state and federal levels, we can curb emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use by as much as 20 percent by 2020 and 34 percent by 2030.