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Greenhouse Gas Process

In the fall of 2001, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), the RI Office of Energy Resources (OER), and the Governor's office convened the Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Stakeholder Process in response to growing international agreement that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are warming the planet at a rapid rate. Reducing greenhouse gases can help reduce global warming — a major concern for Rhode Islanders because of its potential adverse impacts such as flooding in coastal areas, saltwater contamination of drinking water, extreme weather events, and damage to local crops.

In July 2002, GHG stakeholders completed Phase 1 of the project with the publication of the Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. The Action Plan outlines programs and policies the state could undertake to meet its commitment under the New England Governors' and Eastern Canadian Provincial Premiers' (NEG/ECPP) Climate Change Action Plan, August 2001. The NEG/ECPP agreement aims to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, to at least 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and up to 85 percent below 1990 levels over the long term.

The entire process lasted six years (10/4/2001-6/14/2007) and produced several documents. Please visit the consultant's (Raab Associates, Ltd.) website at Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Process to view these documents as well as modeling results, meeting schedules, stakeholder membership and other pertinent information.

Due to a lack of funding, the project stopped in June of 2007. It should be noted that in March of 2005, the US EPA awarded the Stakeholders of this process with its 2005 Climate Protection Award for their "exceptional contributions to global environmental protection".

Although the project ended in 2007, a 2013 review of the Action Plan has determined that approximately 65% of the 52 program and policy options have been implemented. Many of these programs fall under the umbrella of the Energy Efficiency Program Plan. As a result of the Comprehensive Energy Conservation, Efficiency, and Affordability Act of 2006, National Grid has developed annual Energy Efficiency Program Plans. Several additional pieces of legislation have also had an important role in the reduction of greenhouse gases including but not limited to the 2004 RI Renewable Energy Standard (RES), 2013 Energy Efficiency and System Reliability Program Plan, RI Public Energy Partnerships (RIPEP), Renewable Energy Fund, 2012 amendment to the Least Cost Procurement Statute to support the installation and investment in clean and efficient combined heat & power (CHP), and the 2010 Decoupling Act.