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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

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On January 29, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 7 (EO 7) directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to take all necessary regulatory and administrative measures to ensure New Jersey’s timely return to full participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Specifically, EO 7 directs DEP to initiate rulemaking by February 28, 2018. In addition, Governor Murphy sent a letter on February 16, 2018 to the RGGI states notifying them of New Jersey's intent to rejoin RGGI "as a partner in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving the health of residents, and growing the economy in our region."

Press Release on Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 7

What is RGGI?

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a multi-state, market-based program that establishes a regional cap on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and requires fossil fuel power plants with a capacity greater than 25 megawatts (MW) to obtain an allowance for each ton of CO2 emitted annually. Power plants may comply by purchasing allowances from quarterly auctions, other generators within RGGI, or through projects that offset CO2 emissions. States use the proceeds from the CO2 allowance auctions to invest in strategic programs to help further reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, spur clean and renewable energy, and provide rate relief on energy bills. Currently, nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participate in RGGI to limit GHG emissions generated by fossil fuel-fired power plants. Launched in 2005, RGGI was the first mandatory GHG "cap-and-trade" program in the United States. To learn more about RGGI visit:

New Jersey's Role in RGGI

  • December 2005: New Jersey Governor Richard Codey joined with the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont to sign a memorandum of understanding to establish RGGI.

  • 2007: New Jersey enacted the Global Warming Response Act, requiring the State to reduce economy-wide GHG to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050.

  • 2008: New Jersey enacted the Global Warming Solutions Fund Act, which authorized the State to implement a market-based CO2 emissions trading program such as RGGI.

  • 2007 and 2008: DEP established two rules to facilitate its participation in RGGI: the CO2 Emissions Trading Rule established the “mechanics” of RGGI participation (e.g., regulated community, auction participation, permitting and enforcement requirements), and the Global Warming Solutions Fund (GWSF) rule established the guidelines and priority ranking system for the distribution of RGGI’s proceeds.

  • 2012: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie withdrew the State from RGGI.

  • January 2018: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued EO 7 directing New Jersey to re-enter RGGI and participate in the CO2 allowance auctions, which will be accomplished through DEP rulemaking. Through a simultaneously proposed but separate rulemaking, DEP will establish the framework for New Jersey’s participation in the RGGI auctions.

The Global Warming Response Act also directs where New Jersey’s RGGI proceeds from the auctions are deposited and how that money must be used:

  • 60% of the funds to the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to be used, in part, for efficient electric generation facilities that are state-of-the-art, as determined by DEP;

  • 20% of the funds to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to be used to support programs that are designed to reduce electricity costs and demand for customers;

  • 10% of the funds to DEP to support program areas designed to promote local government agencies' efforts to reduce GHG emissions; and

  • 10% of the funds to DEP to support programs that enhance the stewardship and restoration of the State's forests and tidal marshes.

It further directs DEP, in consultation with EDA and BPU, to adopt rules establishing guidelines and a priority ranking system to be used to assist those agencies in their allocation of moneys from the Fund to eligible program areas or projects.

Benefits of RGGI

Since the start of the program, RGGI member states have realized numerous benefits including a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and a decrease in electricity prices, and have invested over $1.77 billion in RGGI proceeds in energy and consumer programs.

CO2 Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in RGGI states have dropped over 45% since 2005.
money sign From its launch through 2015, the nine participating RGGI states have invested over $1.77 billion in RGGI proceeds.

RGGI Public Information Session

DEP is holding a public information session about RGGI on March 29, 2018 in the Public Hearing Room. Registration is required for this event. Click on the calendar symbol or the link below to register for this event. Please note that each member of an organization planning to attend must register separately.

Daily Calendar

9:00 AM – 3:45 PM
Thursday March 29, 2018
DEP Public Hearing Room
Register Here!
Draft Agenda

Related Legislation and Other Resources

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For more information about DEP's RGGI Program, contact

RGGI States
RGGI states

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Last Updated: March 9, 2018