ClimateVision 2020 takes stock of the progress towards reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in eight northeastern states. The opportunity for evaluation is ripe. New England is 12 years into the regional 2020 emissions reduction target originally adopted in 2001, and some northeastern states have met their own 2010 targets. Nearly all states aim to make further reductions by 2020 and significant, science-based reductions by 2050. To determine whether the Northeast is on course to meet these future targets, policymakers and the public need sound, analytical data. This report seeks to provide that information.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant but not the only greenhouse gas. Emissions are measured throughout in terms of CO2 equivalents.

ClimateVision 2020 seeks to accomplish two broad goals. The first goal is to provide in a single site a general assessment of progress towards reducing emissions in the Northeast and the challenges that remain, using regional and state data. The second goal is to lay the analytical foundation to help inform a meaningful discussion in the region on redoubling our collective efforts to reduce climate-changing emissions and promote clean, consumer-friendly energy, transport, and forest protection policies.

Progress Status begins by comparing the region and the states’ performance on emissions against their established targets. Emissions Trends describes trends and identifies the key factors – primarily cleaner fuels and low carbon energy policies – driving those trends. Sector Spotlights gives deeper insight concerning critical sources of emissions – buildings, transportation, and forests. Policy Successes is a brief examination of two climate solutions pioneered at the state level: energy efficiency investments and clean power incentives. Looking Forward suggests three areas of strategic focus for future policy action.