Covering carbon pricing programs in California and New England and their role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Utility Dive spoke with Near Zero’s Danny Cullenward:

Stanford economist Danny Cullenward, the California Senate representative to CARB’s advisory committee on cap and trade, agreed. Because of state renewables mandates, energy efficiency standards and the recession, “power sector decarbonization was faster than expected and economic growth was slower than expected,” he told Utility Dive.

“Few emissions reductions can be attributed directly to the cap and trade programs,” he added. But both the RGGI states and California recently targeted significantly bigger GHG cuts by 2030 and both expect to get the cuts through their cap and trade programs.

Jesse Jenkins, an MIT Energy Initiative analyst, agreed neither program has really been tested as a driver of GHG reductions. “As important” was the revenue from allowance auctions, because it funded investment in clean energy and energy efficiency, he told Utility Dive.

That is about to change, Cullenward said. “The targets are much deeper and we’re not going to luck our way into success. If we don’t get to the 2030 targets in one of these jurisdictions, you’re going to be able to point to design flaws in its cap and trade program.”

Read the full article, “Is cap and trade the climate solution? The jury’s still out,” by Herman K. Trabish, on the Utility Dive website.