Gap Between Projected Emissions and GHG Targets

SOURCE: ENE analysis using EPA State Inventory Tool and Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets

Adopted in 2001, the New England Governors’ and Eastern Canadian Premiers’ Climate Change Action Plan set regional emission reduction targets for the New England states – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont – as well as the Eastern Canadian provinces. These targets (shown above) are not legally binding but represent the collective goals for the region. All eight northeastern states subsequently adopted emission reduction targets, either through state law, statute, or voluntary goals.1

The Northeast has met an early regional emissions reduction target

If the Governors’ and Premiers’ action plan had been extended to include all 8 Northeast states, the region would have met the modest 2010 emissions reduction target. The states’ performance against their own targets has been mixed. Please see the state profiles for a comparison of individual state targets versus emissions.

The Northeast is not on track to meet later, more aggressive targets

Although the Northeast has made progress in recent years, as reflected by achieving the 2010 regional target, the remaining challenge is large. Based on emission trend projections, none of the northeastern states are expected to meet longer-term, science-based targets – neither the regional target set by the Governors’ and Premiers’ action plan for 2050 nor targets adopted at the state level for 2020 and 2050. Meeting the aggressive 2020 and 2050 regional and state targets will require innovative new policies and the continued effort of government, businesses, and the public. Committed action will position the Northeast to lead and prosper in the low-carbon economy of the future.

1 For the purposes of this analysis, and to have a broader regional perspective, this report surveys emissions and goals in New Jersey and New York as well as the six  signatory states to the 2001 New England Governors’ and Eastern Canadian Premiers’ Climate Change Action Plan. Throughout the report, the term “Northeast” refers to these eight states.