California in 2017 was already ahead of its 2020 targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a regulatory report.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently issued results that were highlighted by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
"California is proving that smart climate policies are good for our economy and good for the planet," he said. "As the Trump administration attempts to obliterate national climate protections, California will continue advancing the cause of American climate leadership."
According to California's Finance Department, the state's economy in 2017 grew 3.6%, or 1.4% above the national average, while for the second consecutive year GHG emissions fell below the state's 2020 target of 431 million metric tons (mmt). GHG emissions came in at 424 mmt of carbon dioxide (CO2).
CARB also noted that the economy's carbon intensity, which is the amount of carbon pollution/million dollars of economic output, also fell. It has declined 4.5% since 2016, and per-capita emissions continued to drop by 2% to 10.7 tons of CO2 equivalent per person.
Electricity generation accounted for about 15% of GHG emissions in 2017.
"A large increase in zero-emission energy resources drove the reduction," Newsom noted, adding that now more than half (52%) of the state's power generation comes from renewable resources.
The transportation sector, which accounted for 37% of the GHG emissions in 2017, still experienced year-to-year increases, and the agriculture sector is still working to control and use methane from dairy operations.