The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont to cap and reduce power sector CO2 emissions.
RGGI is composed of individual CO2 Budget Trading Programs in each participating state. Through independent regulations, based on the RGGI Model Rule (2013) and the Summary of RGGI Model Rule Changes, each state's CO2 Budget Trading Program limits emissions of CO2 from electric power plants, issues CO2 allowances and establishes participation in regional CO2 allowance auctions.
The RGGI states are now in the early stages of the 2016 Program Review, a process by which the RGGI states are able to gather input from stakeholders and experts relating to the program's design.
Following a 2012 Program Review, the RGGI states implemented a new 2014 RGGI cap of 91 million short tons. The RGGI CO2 cap then declines 2.5 percent each year from 2015 to 2020.
Regulated power plants can use a CO2 allowance issued by any participating state to demonstrate compliance with an individual state program. In this manner, the state programs, in aggregate, function as a single regional compliance market for CO2 emissions.
RGGI is the first mandatory, market-based CO2 emissions reduction program in the United States.