California set a record for greenhouse gas reductions in 2020, but it means nothing when compared to fossil industry’s “catastrophic” failure to achieve “historic emission reductions” in 2020, according to a new report from Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).
“It can be very misleading, when you look at it on the face of it,” said David A.S. Green of the GWPF in an interview with Sierra Club. “What we’re seeing on the face of the data is that California is still not even close to being on track to meet the [emissions reduction] targets. It’s really a huge disappointment.”
The GWPF report, “California on the Road to Emissions Reduction 2020: How the Golden State Meets Its 2020 Emissions Reductions,” analyzed the state’s actions that were taken to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and find that California met more ambitious targets than other states.
California actually achieved fewer emissions reductions than the EPA’s goal in 2020 for both new construction and existing structures, Green said. The state did record the largest reduction in total annual greenhouse gas emissions, but California achieved these reductions through the actions of state and local officials, not through federal laws, he said.
“What we’re seeing in California is that really the federal government’s efforts to clean up these major sources is leading the way,” Green said. “We’re seeing some of the states coming up behind. We’re also seeing the progress that’s going to be made on the legislative front, where we’re going to see the biggest cuts in emissions through state ballot measures.”
“What I would say is that it does not mean that California has not met its 2020 emission targets or that the 2020 emission targets are not within reach. It simply is a record that California has met fewer measures than what EPA had originally proposed in 2020,” said Jeff Kightlinger of the GWPF. “But really, this is a failure of the federal government to get out in front of what can be done in the context of a state-led effort.”
Kightlinger said the California state legislature already passed laws that will reduce the state’s emissions by 25 percent from 2020 levels by 2030. One of these laws, the California Global Warming