RGGI Performance

Since 2009, the RGGI states have run a professional, transparent “cap & invest” carbon trading program. The independent researchers for the Project Series keep track of past & potential performance. The bottom line: RGGI helps cut carbon pollution while growing the economy and protecting public health. 


Image credit: Newport Renewables. Solar arrays reducing RI's carbon footprint.


Net economic benefits on the order of

$4 Billion

more than

4K Jobs

Carbon emissions have fallen by


Economic Performance

While the primary goal of RGGI is to reduce carbon emissions, this market-based program has yielded significant net economic benefits.


In a series of reports covering the lifetime of RGGI, Analysis Group, an independent expert research group, uses real time historical data to assess the economic impacts of the trading system. 

The RGGI Project Series has supported all three of these studies that rigorously track the path of RGGI-related dollars as they leave the pockets of competitive-power generators who buy CO2 allowances to demonstrate compliance, show up in electricity prices and customer bills, make their way into state accounts, and then roll out into the economy through various pathways. (See AG Reports)

As documented by Analysis Group, the significant economic benefits generated by RGGI are primarily due to the auction design and smart investment decisions by the RGGI states – each according to their own priorities – in energy efficiency, clean energy, and consumer-benefit programs.


Latest report findings (2015-2017):

Added $1.4 billion in net economic value

Created 14,500 new job-years

Produce $220 million in energy savings

Reduced money flowing out of state to buy fossil fuel by $1.37 billion

Health and Environment


RGGI Public Health Impacts

The RGGI Project Series sponsored the first and, to date, only, comprehensive expert analysis of RGGI’s public health impacts. Based on the first six years of operation (2009-2014), this study found RGGI has significantly reduced air pollution from power plants, yielding significant health benefits in the nine RGGI states as well as neighboring Northeast states.

Saved up to 830 lives

Avoided more than 8,200 asthma attacks

Averted up to 47,000 lost work days

Provided up to $8.3 billion in health savings and other benefits

RGGI Environmental Impacts

By putting a price on carbon, the RGGI trading program has sent strong economic signals for short- and long-term investment in clean energy. New technology energy generation and distribution – spurred by the carbon price and complementary state programs, made possible in large part by RGGI auction proceeds investments – are transforming electricity markets.

  • Annual carbon emissions have dropped over 50% since RGGI started in 2009, due in part to RGGI and other factors.
  • While electricity production accounted for over 30% of economy-wide carbon emissions across the RGGI states when the trading program was designed, the electricity sector now accounts for about 20% of emissions.

The Path Forward

RGGI offers flexibility and room for expansion.


After finishing the most recent comprehensive program review, the RGGI states agreed to significant updates to their governing Model Rule, including extending the RGGI regional emissions cap through 2030 and tightening the cap by an additional 30% from 2020-2030.

The RGGI program is now well positioned for expansion, and several states are moving to link or join with the RGGI states. Virginia is adopting its own trading program designed to link with RGGI; New Jersey’s Governor announced that his state will rejoin RGGI. Other states with carbon reduction and clean energy goals are exploring the RGGI model and its lessons, interested in creating their own program and/or possible linkage with RGGI states.

Economist and energy experts agree a broader market is a better market. The RGGI Project Series has been at the forefront of independent analysis of rapidly changing electricity market trends and expanding carbon trading markets.

The Series cut through perceived barriers to linkage by analyzing the “trading basics” and identifying the best program design features for consideration by RGGI and new states. 

Flexible, nimble and vigilant, the Series responds promptly to new substantive issues critical to states. For example, the Series provided a pivotal objective modeling analysis of a proposed cost design innovation – the Emissions Containment Reserve – to improve the efficiency of allowance supply and low prices. The new RGGI Model Rule includes the first ECR for a carbon-trading program.