sea levelsClimate change is a threat to public welfare as well as the economy. In the wake of severe storms that have battered the eastern seaboard, 10 Northeastern states in the U.S. have agreed to join forces in an all-out effort to trim carbon emissions in ways that also support their local economies. The Improved Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) project’s mission is to show the world how managing climate-altering fossil fuel emissions can actually be beneficial with respect to cleaning the environment and putting people back to work without raising taxes. Indeed, these 10 states are presently cutting pollution while growing their economies faster than the rest of the country.

Hurricane Sandy was a powerful enough storm that it altered the shape of the map in states like New York and New Jersey. Today, the average New Jersey beach is 35 feet narrower than it was prior to the storm. Extreme weather events are capable of crippling a regional economy. Expectations of future extreme weather events and a rising sea level brought about by elevated ocean temperatures is a powerful incentive for policy makers to join RGGI and help develop strategies to fight global warming. Money that RGGI project generates for its members comes from the sale of carbon dioxide emission permits or “allowances” that are sold in quarterly auctions.

 

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