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California Air Resources Board (CARB) releases 2017 report on Emissions

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CARB  - the California Air Resources Board has finally released its 2017 Emissions Inventory Report.

Here is a summary:

The annual statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventory is an important tool in tracking progress towards meeting statewide GHG goals. The inventory for 2017 shows that California’s GHG emissions continue to decrease. In 2017, emissions from GHG emitting activities statewide were 424 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent (MMTCO2e), 5 MMTCO2e lower than 2016 levels and 7 MMTCO2e below the 2020 GHG Limit of 431 MMTCO2e. Consistent with recent years, these reductions have occurred while California’s economy has continued to grow and generate jobs. Compared to 2016, California’s GDP grew 3.6 percent while the carbon intensity of its economy declined by 4.5 percent.


The biggest contributor to the recent emissions drop has been a drop from the electric power sector.



For the first time since California started to track GHG emissions, in-state and total electricity generation from zero-GHG sources (for purposes of the GHG inventory, these include solar, hydro, wind, and nuclear) exceeded generation from GHG- emitting sources.

GHG emissions from the electricity sector declined by 9 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. The overall decrease in carbon intensity of California’s electricity generation is driven primarily by the large increase in zero-GHG and renewable energy resources due in part to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Cap-and-Trade Program.

Looking forward, emissions from electricity will be flat in 2018 with a small drop in coal emissions offset by a slight rise in NG and unspecified imports emissions.  It looks like emissions from electricity will be down substantially in 2019 with a drop in both in-state NG and imports and overall generation below 2017/2018

With emissions from electricity sector dropping steadily CA really needs to change emphasis and investment to reducing emissions in transportation. 


Joe Deely's picture

Thank Joe for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 14, 2019 12:20 pm GMT

The growth in economy with a flattening/drop in emissions in California is indeed a lesson for success, given how much of a world player CA would be in size if it were its own country

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