On 8 October 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to engage with members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) to explore the possibility of linking the two North American carbon markets. According to a press release issued by the Governor’s office, linking the two systems would establish a more cost-effective and stable carbon market that both supports the transition to clean energy and reductions in international greenhouse gas emissions.

Governor Cuomo also signed the Under2MOU, an international agreement by states and regional governments that outlines their commitment to keep an increase in the earth’s average temperature to 2°C by 2100.

New York is a member of RGGI, a regional cap-and-trade market with eight other states that was launched in 2009 to regulate emissions in the electricity sector. The RGGI states have committed to a regional emissions reduction target of 50% below 2005 levels by 2020. New York has also pledged to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The WCI is also a regional collaboration of US states and Canadian provinces that aim to develop a joint strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via a regional cap-and-trade program.