A recurring theme in recent WorldChanging posts is the argument that state governments can play an important role in fighting global warming-induced climate disruption. Jer posted about the West Coast Governors' Global Warming Initiative earlier this month; now it's time for the East Coast to be in the (green)house.
Future Now points us to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which describes itself as "a cooperative effort by Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions." Initiated in 2003 by New York governor George Pataki, RGGI combines the efforts of nine states (New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont), along with representatives from Eastern Canadian Provinces Secretariat and the Province of New Brunswick, to develop a regional cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The program is set to be unveiled by April of 2005.
And it may not stop with just those nine states and a province. The British newspaper The Independent reports:
The scheme could even link up with the emissions controls and trading system being established by the European Union next year, allowing emission allowances to be traded across the Atlantic. It is understood that informal talks have taken place between environmental officials of the US states and their European Commission counterparts.
If you (like me) hadn't heard of RGGI before, it's not surprising. The RGGI website is filled with the flat language of policy, not flashy graphics and exciting prose -- which is how it should be. Dealing with climate disruption is as much an issue of good governance as it is media relations, and it's nice to see some websites emphasizing the former over the latter.
The Stranger's "The Urban Archipelago" talks about things like this:
We don't need to use the federal government to get our cities to recognize each others' domestic partnerships.