Climate Change

NEG/ECP Climate Change Program - 2012

 

Introduction

 

Recognizing the need for the region to provide leadership on the critical issue of climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers established the regional climate change program in 2000.  While the northeast represents a significant economic region with greenhouse gas emissions roughly equivalent to those of Spain, climate change is an international issue for which our states and provinces are only a relatively small part of the problem.  However, through their leadership the Governors and Premiers have established our region as an internationally-recognized part of the solution.

 

The major source of greenhouse gas emissions is the combustion of carbon-based resources in energy production and transportation.  While our region can provide leadership by reducing its own emissions through lower-carbon resources, energy efficiency and new technologies, it also needs to adapt to the implications of a changing climate that it cannot control. 

 

The NEG/ECP Climate Change Program

 

In 2000, the NEG/ECP charged the energy and environmental officials in the region with developing a regional action plan, based on the successful paradigm of the mercury and acid rain action plans adopted in 1998, to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions and help the region adapt to the unavoidable changes created by a changing climate.  The NEG/ECP Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), adopted in 2001, provided a road-map for the region to achieve these goals.

 

The CCAP calls for a return to 1990 GHG by 2010 regionally, and a further reduction of 10% vs. 1990 levels by 2020.  The region has also set a reduction target of 75-85% below 2001 levels by 2050.  These goals represent a more significant decrease  in emissions than called for in the Kyoto Protocols.

 

The Plan was the first international, multi-jurisdictional climate initiative of its type in the world.  It has spawned the development of climate programs and plans in all the New England states and Eastern Canadian provinces, and contributed to late initiatives such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  In 2004 the NEG/ECP CCAP was recognized with the Business Week / Climate Group’s Annual Environmental Achievement Award.

 

Recent Work and Current Projects

 

The NEG/ECP Climate Change Steering Committee (CCSC), entering its tenth year of overseeing the implementation of the regional plan, continues to vigorously address the challenges raised by a changing climate.  The Committee is preparing an inventory of GHG emissions in the region as a basis for assessing its progress in achieving the 2010 target.  The CCSC is also working on establishing additional regional reduction targets for the period between 2020 and 2050, to facilitate regional planning.  The CCSC, along with the NEG/ECP Committee on the Environment, it is crafting a regional agenda to address climate adaptation issues. 

 

Documents

 

Some NEG/ECP Climate-Related Documens include:

NEG/ECP Climate Change Action Plan (2001)

Climate Challenge University Pledge (2008)

Climate Challenge University Pledge Map (2008)

Report from the NEG/ECP Climate Adaptation Symposium (2004)

NEG/ECP Resolution on Climate Change (July 11, 2011)