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Carbon Emissions Fall for Third Straight Year

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.


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2 thoughts on “Carbon Emissions Fall for Third Straight Year

  1. Sounds to me like the carbon trading program between the nine states had little – if anything – to do with the reduction in carbon emissions. If more natural gas is being used and warmer weather resulting in less electricity being generated, exactly what part of the carbon trading program have to do with the lower emissions?

  2. Ken, not enough data is presented in the article to support your conclusion. And mention is made of the fact that carbon emissions have fallen for three straight years now. For your conclusion to be correct, then other factors would have had to conspire to bring that about. For example, successively milder winters for each of those years, and/or successively greater use of natural gas over the 3 year period.
    It seems far more likely that the cap&trade program did have a positive impact, and that for one year (at least) milder temperatures and increased methane use also helped.

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