RFF experts are exploring possibilities for state and regional carbon pricing policies, developing adaptation strategies for coastal ecosystems, and examining household demand for flood insurance.
Across the United States and globally, political tensions and economic uncertainties often present more cause for concern than reason for optimism. But complex issues invite creative thinking. Achieving positive outcomes requires us to explore evolving possibilities, especially in tough circumstances. As US action to address climate change is in flux at the federal level, several states are considering new options to price carbon emissions and infuse economic incentives in related regulations. We also see promising movement to confront the challenge of adaptation. Society continues to seek solutions, and these developments build on and continue to be informed by the work of RFF experts and their colleagues.
Momentum exists for carbon pricing in the United States. Both California (in a program linked with Quebec and Ontario) and states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have implemented systems to price carbon. There is also significant legislative interest elsewhere across the nation, including in Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Minnesota. And through the growing Transportation and Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, policymakers and agency administrators from 11 states and the District of Columbia are asking how they can build on RGGI to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.
Across all these fronts, RFF researchers are assessing policy prospects that seek to mitigate climate change through carbon pricing and help buffer communities from risk. How much will a given carbon price reduce emissions? How can states address the potential impacts of carbon pricing policies on state economies, including effects on jobs, specific industries, small businesses, and low-income households? What can we learn from previous and ongoing experience at state and regional levels? What are the best options when it comes to how revenue will be used? How can decisionmakers account for possible interactions among new approaches and regulations already on the books? RFF experts are examining these questions and others, and we hope you’ll stay tuned as states and regions around the world move forward.
But there’s more to addressing climate change than carbon pricing, and there are other critical stories to tell. This issue of Resources features articles highlighting new work on how saltwater intrusion is affecting coastal ecosystems and agriculture, how household income levels affect decisions about purchasing flood insurance, and what potential benefits and costs regulators should consider as they think about adding flexibility to US policies governing the energy efficiency of appliances.
At RFF, we work to add insight and find answers to some of the most vital policy questions. We do this by providing unbiased, evidence-based research and analysis—considering all angles and helping to build connections among communities as part of the process.