Greenhouse gas emissions fell in the nine states that participate in a northeast carbon trading market by 6 percent in 2013. The states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) were helped by mild temperatures and the greater use of natural gas for power generation.
Carbon emissions in the region were down for a third straight year, to 86 million short tons from 92 million tons. Electricity use declined in four of the nine member states, according to the program’s emission allowances tracking system.
The nine states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — last month approved a change to the program from 2014 that would cap emissions at 91 million tons, a 45 percent reduction from the original cap, to encourage more trading.
The five-year-old cap-and-trade market has been plagued by excess carbon permits due to abundant supplies of natural gas, improved energy efficiency and lower demand caused by the economic slump.