California’s greenhouse gas emissions rose slightly in 2018, but pollution stayed below climate target

California
A refinery in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles is among the facilities regulated under California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

A refinery in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles is among the facilities regulated under California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

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California’s greenhouse gas emissions rose slightly in 2018 due largely to lower hydroelectric power use, according to a report released Monday by the state Air Resources Board.

The state emitted the equivalent of 425 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2018, about 1 million more than in 2017, the Air Resources Board inventory found.

Pollution overall remained well below the state’s 2020 climate target of 431 million metric tons, which the state hit four years early, in 2016. But the uneven progress underscores the challenge California faces as it pursues the more ambitious goal of slashing planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions another 40% by 2030.

The uptick in 2018 was mostly due to a decrease in the use of hydroelectric power resulting from lower precipitation in the winter of 2017-18, said Dave Clegern, an Air Resources Board spokesman.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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