NY Gov. Cuomo proposes linking RGGI, California carbon markets

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed linking the northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative with other “successful carbon markets,” amid a slate of proposals aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon markets are working on a regional level in several areas, but Gov. Cuomo last week announced the state is looking to expand its participation beyond just the RGGI, which has been successful in the northeast. The governor said New York will work with California, Quebec and Ontario to expand and potentially link the markets.

“Connecting these markets would be more cost-effective and stable, thereby supporting clean energy and driving international carbon emission reductions,” Cuomo’s office said in a statement. “New York State will also engage other states and provinces to build a broader carbon market‎ and further drive an international discussion that encourages government action on carbon emissions.”

The announcement was a part of a larger slate of carbon iniatives Cuomo proposed to combat climate change.

“Climate change is an issue of society’s sustainability – and to deny that climate change is real is to deny reason,” he said. “New York is stepping up. We are demonstrating the leadership and focus that this issue demands. We are joining together and committing ourselves to tackling climate change and showing the nation what is possible. Now it is up to world leaders to follow suit.”

Cuomo also signed the Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding, an agreement between states, provinces and cities around the world which affirms a commitment to help keep the earth’s average temperature from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsuis (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.

A plan to place renewable energy at all SUNY campuses in the next five years will help the state-run university build on its goal to improve its energy efficiency performance by 20% and lower greenhouse gas emissions by 30% across the same time.