California set a record for greenhouse gas reductions in 2020, but it means nothing if these efforts are not supported by policy.
California Governor Gavin Newsom told a federal regulator, when asked if California will meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets, that it will.
That is good news, but without a strong policy foundation, nothing more will be accomplished.
In the wake of California Governor Gavin Newsom ordering the State to set a target for limiting greenhouse gas emissions, new data shows that California’s goal will likely increase pollution by an average of 7.17% in 2020 and 11.46% in 2030 compared to 2019 levels.
Data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), shows that California’s 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goals were met for the first time, with the state meeting all of the emissions reduction targets for the first time since 2007.
For 2020, the official goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% from 2007 levels (or 38.7 million metric tons per year).
The 2019 official goal was to reduce carbon emissions 25% from 1990 levels (or 27 million metric tons per year) – not the same as the previous target.
If the goal set in 2019 is achieved, California’s 2020 carbon dioxide emissions reduction target will increase to 28.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (from the previous 25 million metric tons).
Data for every California county, as well as statewide, shows that 2020 statewide carbon dioxide reductions have not yet occurred.
While California has met its 2020 targets for greenhouse gas reductions since 2008 (when the cap and trade program began, for example), if there is no policy to support these reductions, 2020 emissions will continue to increase.
California’s 2020 reduction targets were met for the first time, but will not be met.
CARB’s data shows that California carbon dioxide emissions will increase by 7.17% in 2020 and 11