Maryland joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a mandatory market-based program in the U.S. to decrease greenhouse emissions, in 2007. On Thursday, officials announced that it would take the necessary steps to further tighten air pollution limits.
RGGI states, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire caps carbon emissions in the Northeast to reduce global climate change.
In an effort to further fight climate change, the RGGI states will decrease the carbon pollution cap by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030. Governor Larry Hogan is a supporter of the initiative.“Maryland is committed to finding real bipartisan, common-sense solution to protect our environment, combat climate change and improve our air quality,” Hogan said in a statement Wednesday.
Power plants that utilize coal and other fossil fuels are required to purchase greenhouse gas emission allowances, which are auctioned off. RGGI states utilize the proceeds from the allowances to pay for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
Each year, emissions caps have decreased by 2.5 percent and will continue to do so until 2020, at which time the new RGGI emissions limits will go into effect.