Individual facilities that emit greenhouse gases are required to report to the California Air Resources Board exactly how much they pollute. Those regulated under the state’s cap and trade program reduced their emissions by four percent in 2013. That reduction puts them 11-percent below the state’s cap on emissions, which is the maximum allowed.
The board’s Dave Clegern says it’s encouraging news.
“As we expected those emissions came in below the cap for the cap and trade program for 2013 and below the comparable 2012 level as well, indicating the emissions reductions are being achieved even as the economy continues to grow and that’s very important,” says Clegern.
Clegern says facilities produced almost 145 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. The cap was 162 million metric tons.
Environmental groups say the program is working as its intended.
“The state is actually on track to reduce back to 1990 levels by 2020," says Katie Hsia-Kiung with the Environmental Defense Fund. "So this is great news because it really shows that California’s comprehensive climate policies are working.”
Total reported emissions, including those not covered under the cap and trade program, increased by a tenth of a percentage point over the year. California’s economy grew 2-percent in the same time period.