Past Webinar

An Emissions Containment Reserve for RGGI: How Might It Work?

Feb 7, 2017

About the Event

This webinar is a joint effort of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, the Georgetown Climate Center, and Resources for the Future (RFF), organized by the Collaborative for RGGI Progress and hosted by RFF.

States participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are engaged in their 2016 program review to evaluate the emissions trading system and consider potential changes. In the course of this review, the idea of an emissions containment reserve (ECR) mechanism has been proposed to address a common issue confronting cap-and-trade programs worldwide: the prices for emissions allowances tend to be significantly lower than program designers anticipate in advance, making mid-course corrections necessary for it to perform as intended. The policy instrument would automatically make such corrections when needed, by holding a portion of the annual emissions allowances in reserve, restricting the sale of those allowances when prices fall below a certain predetermined level or levels. This webinar brought together experts and representatives from states, electric generators, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to consider this new approach for ensuring that the RGGI emissions trading program functions as designed and examine the finer points of how such a reserve might work and be implemented.

A panel of RGGI stakeholder and state respondents joined Burtraw and Shobe for a discussion following the presentations.



  • Dallas Burtraw, Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Derek Furstenwerth, Senior Director, Environmental Services, Calpine Corporation
  • Chris Hoagland, Economist, Climate Change Division, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • Franz Litz, Facilitator, Collaborative for RGGI Progress
  • Dan McGraw, Senior Market Strategist for US Carbon Markets, ICIS
  • Jackson Morris, Director Eastern Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • William Shobe, Director, Center for Economic and Policy Studies, University of Virginia