California Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Targets (2030 and 2050): Trends, Projections and Analysis

Oscar Wambuguh


Fossil fuels are the primary sources of energy powering economic development globally. Increased fossil fuel consumption produces Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) which build in the atmosphere and trap heat irradiated from the Earth. The increased concentration of these gases causes global warming and extensive climate disruptions. This study examined GHG emissions data from 2000-2017 to evaluate whether California will meet GHG emissions reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 as mandated by California’s Executive Order B-30-15. California’s ability to reduce GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 (Executive Order S-3-05) was also evaluated. Results indicate that transportation, electric power, industrial and commercial/residential) GHG emissions reductions declined by small magnitudes in the 18-year period (0.17% to 2.49%). In agriculture, refrigerant and recycling/waste agencies, emissions reductions increased in the 18-year period (0.08% to 0.8%). For 2030 and 2050 emissions reductions targets, no emissions category sector will achieve the targeted reduction. The highest emissions reduction amounts discrepancies between observed and expected were in transportation, industrial and commercial/residential sectors (2030); and in transportation, industrial and agricultural facilities (2050). An analysis of current trends and technological developments in each emissions sector is presented to guide and structure future emissions target reductions.

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