Assessing Rhode Island’s EC4: Moving Beyond Business As Usual

On the heels of the fifth anniversary of enacting the Resilient Rhode Island Act (Act) and the creation of the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4), The Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island (CACRI) has released an assessment on the progress of the Act and the need to update the EC4.

“Now is the time to assess the current situation in preparation to make adjustments and amendments to our one state agency and public law that is responsible for the reduction of RI’s greenhouse gas emissions,” says Ken Payne – former Senior Policy Advisor to the Rhode Island Senate and Director of the Rhode Island Senate Policy Office from 1997 to 2007, and the author of the assessment.

The assessment illustrates, in part, that while the EC4 has done an outstanding job in basic respects, several key provisions of the Act have not been utilized to date, and the EC4 needs to be updated to provide:

  • enforceable targets with new powers of implementation need to be established for greenhouse gas emissions reductions;
  • a study of carbon pricing as a means to incentivize change needs to be initiated and completed; and,
  • best available science and technical information in evaluating the state’s policies and programs needs
    to be used.

“Has the Act served a useful purpose, and should it be continued? Does the Act need amendment or revision? 2020 is the year in which we will have to evaluate whether or not we have met our first greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. Whatever the conclusion, the recent news regarding the need for emissions reductions has not been good. The need for greater emission reductions is much more pressing if we are to avoid a local economic collapse and a global cataclysm,” says Ken Payne.

 

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