. gas emissions.” (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,

. (Nagourney, 2017) The ultimate goal of the program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by forty percent, since the levels in 1990, by 2030.In 2013, the emissions cap was set at approximately two percent below the emissions level prediction for 2012. In 2014 the cap declined about two percent more; every year after, from 2015 to 2030, the cap will decline about three percent. (California Air Resources Board, 2016) A portion of the revenue which California obtains from emissions permit auctions is currently being invested in new, high-speed public rail transportation between the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, which will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and other less sustainable methods of transportation. (Nagourney, 2017) Additional goals of the program include getting California from its current state of being one-third dependent on renewable electricity to fifty percent, reducing vehicle petroleum use by fifty percent, and increasing energy efficiency, i.e. heating and cooling energy usage, in existing buildings. (California Air Resources Board, 2016)The Regional Greenhouse Gas InitiativeA larger scale example of successful policy innovation utilizing a similar carbon pricing method is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The RGGI was “the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, 2017) Impressively, the Initiative is a united effort by nine states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland (my home state), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In 2012 a thorough review of the program was conducted, and in 2014 the states updated their cap; beginning in 2015, the cap will decline by 2.5 percent every year until 2020. The website further explains: “States sell nearly all emission allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other consumer benefit programs.” (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, 2017) The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has successfully been inculcating innovation and job creation in green and sustainable energy markets. (California Air Resources Board, 2016) (See Appendix B)The USA’s Current Role in International Climate PolicyParis Climate AccordThe Paris Climate Accord was unlike anything the world had ever seen.The express goal of the Accord was to prevent Earth from warming 3 degrees Celsius since the age of the Industrial Revolution, in the 1800s. To add some perspective: the world is already only about 1.6º away from that line. (Bornstein, 2017) A warming of 3º is what scientists had agreed was unacceptably risky, and if we surpass that it may be the point of no return for climate change. (Plumer & Popovich, 2017) Here’s how it works: the agreement is totally voluntary; a country must only express a goal for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and occasionally report on the status of the said goal to participate in the Accord. Under President Obama, the United States of America joined the 197 countries and 147 parties who agreed to or ratified the program (including the European Union, notably.) 

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