Resources for local energy committees

Learn more about global warming and energy issues in NH.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions (GHGs)

Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) from New Hampshire residents and businesses contribute to the global problem of climate change. The state has shown some leadership in addressing its GHG footprint: for example, it was the first to classify carbon dioxide as a regulated pollutant, and is one of seven Northeast states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Iniative (RGGI) to cap carbon emissions from power plants.

Good News
New Hampshire's energy use per person is lower than the national average – as recently as 2003 only nine states consume less energy per person. (

Recycling in New Hampshire has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 60,314 metric tons of carbon equivalents per year, which is equivalent to approximately 19% of all industrial carbon equivalent emissions from fossil fuel combustion in New Hampshire and 2% of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).  (

On December 20th, 2005, the agreement for the new Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was launched, with NH Governor John Lynch as a signatory. This historic agreement sets up a regional cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. As is true for the six other particpating states, the NH legislature must now act to approve participatory action by the state in order for RGGI to be implemented here.

Areas of Concern
Overall, carbon emissions are increasing -  not decreasing.  Since 2001, New Hampshire has had a greater increase in electricity consumption than any other state in the region (5.9 percent).  Note, though, that  New Hampshire reliance on nuclear power is higher than the national average and electricity production using nuclear energy does not produce GHG emissions.

The state’s transportation sector emissions in 2001 were up 39 percent from 1990 levels, a larger change than in any other New England state.