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California must triple pace of emissions reductions to meet 2030 target

California must triple its annual carbon emissions reductions to achieve its 2030 target, a new report found.

California’s emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other climate-warming gases increased by 3.4% in 2021 after dropping during the pandemic, according to this year’s California Green Innovation Index from San Francisco-based think tank Next 10.

“The fact that they need to increase the speed of reduction at about three times faster than they’re actually doing — that does not bode well,” Stafford Nichols, a researcher at Beacon Economics and a co-author of the annual California Green Innovation Index released Thursday said, according to CalMatters. “As we get closer to that 2030 goal, the fact that we’re further off just means that we have to decrease faster each year.”

California has targets for reducing emissions that get progressively larger for 2030, 2035, and 2040. The state raised its goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has supported the California Air Resources Board’s new plan, which would push for greenhouse gases to be cut 48% below 1990 levels by 2030, an 8% increase from the previous blueprint.

“It’s the most ambitious set of climate goals of any jurisdiction in the world, and if adopted, it’ll spur an economic transformation akin to the industrial revolution,” Newsom said about the plan in 2022.

To meet the 2030 target, California would need to triple its emissions reduction rate that it has been at since 2010, from the current average of about 1.5% annually to around 4.4% a year, according to the Green Innovation Index. The rate would be an uptick from the 3.6% needed in 2020, a significant emissions drop caused by COVID-19, and 4.2% needed in 2019.

California has seen drops of only 1.6% annually from 2016 to 2021, putting the state on track not to achieve the 2030 target until 2047.

-Washington Examiner


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