California greenhouse gases peaked in 2004 hitting 492.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, up from 431metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 1990. The level in 2016, the last year for which data is available, according to the latest California Air Resources Board data: 429.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
It is worth noting that during the Great Recession, state GHG retreat was also quite evident. Fewer driven miles, home foreclosures, lost jobs all contributed.
That the economy regrouped and recouped speaks volumes. Influenced as it has been by our now “supercharged” green commercial sector speaks even more.
That said, had there not been the degree of solar- and wind power, etc. development and exploitation there was, it’s likely California’s economic-recovery pace would have been more sluggish and recovery itself less far-reaching.
The “green economy” has no doubt played a contributory role. How much of a role is the real question.
Alan Kandel, Fresno