New England Leads Fight Against Climate Change

Synapse Principal Economist Liz Stanton's OpEd on New England's clean energy leadership was recently featured in CommonWealth Magazine.

New England states once again find themselves in the vanguard of our national efforts to stop climate change. The region has long been a leader in driving forward progress in the clean energy economy:

  • Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont all have regulations stimulating growth in renewable generation. These policies have helped the New England electric power pool achieve some of the lowest carbon dioxide emissions in the country.
  • New England states stand out in their adoption of energy efficiency measures. Massachusetts has been ranked the No. 1 state in efficiency for the past five years, with Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont also consistently among the highest-ranking states.
  • All six New England states are founding members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) together with Delaware, Maryland, and New York. RGGI sets a limit on carbon dioxide emissions from the electric sector and raises money for renewables and efficiency by charging polluting generators for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit.

These accomplishments are the result of policy measures and legislative mandates put into place in the late 1990s and 2000s, effecting long-lasting change in the character and composition of the region’s electric generation, supply, and use. Continue reading.