Emissions in the Northeast have dropped in the past decade, representing the first steps towards the region’s long-term targets. Understanding what caused reductions to date is important in assessing progress and planning further strategies to cut emissions.

Overall emissions have stabilized and declined slightly in the last few years

After a trend of continuous growth, emissions were flat for the early part of the last decade before beginning to decline. Total regional emissions dropped by 12% between 2000 and 2010. This section explores the factors driving these trends.

The trend in the Northeast is more promising than that of the rest of the country

The leveling off and decline of emissions in the region is not reflective of the trend for the entire country, where emissions fell only 4% in the 2000 to 2010 timeframe. The Northeast has achieved its substantial reductions while its economy has continued to grow.

The majority of emissions reductions come from two drivers

Driven by state and regional policies and market forces, the region has undergone a major transition in the past ten years to electricity generated from less carbon-intensive energy sources, such as natural gas and renewables. Most states in the region have also undertaken major efforts to use energy more efficiently.