State’s emissions continue to fall
Greenhouse gas reduction in 2015 comes even as the economy grows.
SACRAMENTO — California has continued to chip away at its greenhouse gas emissions even as its economy grows, according to new data released by state regulators Wednesday.
Emissions fell by a third of a percent in 2015, which regulators said was equivalent to removing 300,000 vehicles from state roads for a year.
“These numbers clearly indicate that the state is on track to achieve its 2020 emission reduction goals and that California can grow its economy while continuing to fight climate change,” Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, said in a statement.
The numbers show California has become a less carbon-intensive place to live and do business, with emissions per capita and relative to gross domestic product falling for a few years in a row.
However, despite progress in sectors like electricity generation, emissions from transportation have ticked upward. California has struggled to get enough zero-emission vehicles on the roads to meet its goals.
The announcement came as Gov. Jerry Brown and Nichols were traveling in China, where they touted the state’s environmental programs and sought to improve partnerships as President Trump withdraws from the fight against global warming.
At the same time, lawmakers are debating the next round of California’s policies on climate change, especially as the state pushes toward an even more ambitious target for reducing emissions by 2030. Legislation to extend the capand-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to pollute, fell short in the Assembly last week, but Brown is still pushing to reach a deal this month.