Irwin Dawid, PLANETIZEN
Executive Summary: California Greenhouse Gas Emissions for 2000 to 2017
Overall greenhouse gas emissions in California dropped 1% in 2017, according to the inventory by the California Air Resources Board, which includes a 9% drop in emissions from electricity generation and a 1% increase in transportation emissions.
“The California Air Resources Board said Monday that the state’s emissions fell 1% in 2017, the most recent year available, to 424 million metric tons,” writes J.D. Morris, a business reporter covering energy and California’s clean power initiatives for the San Francisco Chronicle reporter covering energy. “The state is now well past its 2020 goal of reducing greenhouse gas levels to 1990 levels — 431 million metric tons.”
Clearly, the big success story is that carbon-free sources of energy, “[f]or the first time since the state began tracking greenhouse gas emissions, powered most [52%] of the state’s electric grid,” notes Morris.
Electricity generation, from in-state and out-of-state sources, accounted for 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector, the third-highest after transportation (41%) and industrial (24%).
The news is not so positive when it comes to transportation. For the fifth consecutive year, emissions have increased, although the increase in 2017 was “the lowest growth rate over the past 4 years,” notes the second bullet in the executive summary of the 24-page report, California Greenhouse Gas Emissions for 2000 to 2017 [pdf]. Vehicle tailpipe emissions accounted for 37% of emissions in 2017.