Despite the strong consensus in the scientific community that anthropogenic climate change requires urgent attention, neither the United States nor Canada has implemented a comprehensive national policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Into this void have stepped two regional cap-and-trade programs that regulate greenhouse gas emissions in parts of both countries. One, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”), is a partnership of nine states in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. The other, the Western Climate Initiative (the “WCI”), is a partnership between California and the Provinces of Québec and Ontario. Both programs have been operating for several years, demonstrating that cap-and-trade programs can achieve cost- effective emissions reductions. Nonetheless, both markets have faced difficulties at various points, including volatility of allowance prices and the withdrawal of partner jurisdictions.
Published in: Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, Vol. 43 No. S (2018)