||Environmental organizations are pushing North Carolina to consider joining the Regional
Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which is a multi-state, market-based cap-and-invest
program aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. Other states
have used RGGI as a tool to mitigate climate change, however, a major concern about
the program is how it addresses, or fails to address, environmental justice (EJ) concerns.
As a result, we conducted research of the impacts from RGGI on EJ communities to inform
potential avenues of action that our client, the North Carolina League of Conservation
Voters (NCLCV), can take within the state. To inform our recommendations on key environmental
justice issues, such as stakeholder participation, hotspots, and impacts on low-income
households, we conducted informal interviews with state environmental agency representatives,
environmental consultants, organizations with an EJ focus, and EJ community members,
a literature review on the impact of cap-and-trade programs on EJ communities, as
well as language and policy analysis of RGGI state environmental justice action. We
presented NCLCV with a list of recommendations, potential steps for their implementation,
and communication materials targeted to relevant stakeholders in North Carolina.