Climate Change

Climate change refers to the anthropogenically-altered (human-caused) shifts in global climate patterns attributed to increased levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from fossil fuel combustion. Particularly, this coincides with an increase in global surface temperature (global warming). The impacts of climate change threaten Rhode Island's public health, energy supplies, economy, and coastal areas. The Department supports a wide range of mitigation programs to reduce in-state GHG emissions in accordance with the 2021 Act on Climate.

What is Climate Change?

Video Credit: Rhode Island Department of Health

Tracking Climate Change

The Department maintains Rhode Island's official inventory of economy-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The GHG emissions inventory is critical for assessing progress with the 2021 Act on Climate's GHG emission reduction mandates. Visit the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council's (EC4) Climate Change Dashboard to learn more about efforts to reduce GHG emissions and build climate resiliency.

Reducing GHG Emissions

Climate change is a global issue that requires regional and local solutions. In addition to responding at the state level, the Department collaborates with neighboring states to mitigate climate change. Visit the mobile sources page to learn about the wide range of programs that reduce transportation sector GHG emissions. Rhode Island participates in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce GHG emissions from fossil fueled power plants. The regional initiative has reduced collective GHG emissions by more than 50% since 2018. Additionally, Rhode Island is taking action to phase down the use of certain high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Additional Resources