State’s emis­sions con­tinue to fall

Green­house gas re­duc­tion in 2015 comes even as the econ­omy grows.

Los Angeles Times - - CITY & STATE - By Chris Mege­rian chris.mege­rian @la­times.com

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.

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