Monday, September 16, 2013

California Reaches Carbon Targets 6 Years Ahead Of Schedule & Creates 236,000 Jobs

Here is a piece of good, carbon-reduction news.

California's carbon reduction is 6 years ahead of the schedule established in its cap and trade program.

In other words, California's 2013 carbon emissions are down to what is required in 2019. In California, each year the carbon cap decreases so the cap is lower in 2019 than in 2013, but Californians have already met their lower 2019 cap.

The sharp fall in California's emissions are attributable to both booming renewable energy and ever improving fuel efficiency.  Importantly, as California's carbon emissions have declined, its economy has improved.

Indeed, in the last 12 months, California created 236,000 new jobs and ranks 24th in jobs growth rate.

Falling carbon emissions and rising jobs numbers can go together!


  1. "Importantly, as California's carbon emissions have declined, its economy has improved."

    This is not good science, for a whole host of methodological reasons. By the logic you are using here, and following the link, I can just as well celebrate North Dakota as the leader in job creation BECAUSE it is producing more CO2, which it must given its fossil fuel boom.

    Or, the entire country's economy has improved, and CA is, according to this, right in the middle. What is significant here?

    Or better, California reduced emissions in the last 12 months, also in the last 12 months, the Boston Red Sox have improved their winning percentage.

    With macro questions like these, there is NO methodological argument that can "win." Maybe without cap and trade they would have created fewer jobs, as you imply. Of course, maybe they would have created twice as many. As you know, there is no way to run that experiment - though we can mimic it with a serious empirical study - and none is forthcoming. How much of the decline is due to population decline? Were any of its emissions exported? After all, folks do criticize the US for this as a whole, so it seems possible that some of this is showing up as increased emissions in nearby states, and so on.

    1. The last sentience of the post stands. California shows that cutting carbon and growing jobs can go together.

      Actions that cut carbon can decrease costs, can spur innovation, and can increase investment. Smart carbon reduction policies can create jobs.

      Meanwhile in PA we rank 49th in jobs growth.