California Will Miss Emissions Goals, Study Says

Holly Quan
October 08, 2019 - 1:45 pm
Trucks drive along Interstate 80 on February 18, 2014 in Berkeley, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Image


The gains California made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions appear to be backsliding, a new study says. 

Although the state met its 2020 goal four years early, California will likely miss its next two climate targets by decades, according to Next 10, a think tank. 

The state had hoped that by 2030, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions would be 40% below its 1990 level. But the researchers found that the 2030 goal may not be hit until 2061. The 2050 goal may elude California for an extra century or more. 

The popularity of trucks, minivans and SUVs are one factor linked to the state's apparent poor performance, Next 10 said. 

They make up more than 57% of new vehicle registrations last year compared to 39% in 2013.

The increase in the popularity of these styles of automobiles comes at a time that state officials have battled with the Trump administration over setting tougher fuel efficiency standards

Massive wildfires filling the skies with carbon gas were also cited for hindering the ability to reach the climate change goals. 

Researchers also found that Californians are recycling less, which has led to an increase in emissions from landfills. 

"We're going in the wrong direction there," said Noel Perry, Next 10's founder.