The folks at Chapman University have produced an important new paper. We’ve said for a long time that reducing California’s Carbon Emissions is both expensive and futile, if the goal is to reduce global atmospheric carbon. Here’s what the report has to say:
This paper demonstrates that even the complete elimination of state GHG emissions will have no measurable effect on climate change risks unless Cali- fornia-style policies are widely adopted throughout the United States, and particularly in other countries that now generate much larger GHG emissions.
In 2011 California accounted for less than 1% of global CO2e emissions, and less than 0.065% of the worldwide annual CO2e emissions increase that occurred during 1990-2011. The state’s per capita CO2e emissions are much lower than in the rest of the United States, and comparable with relatively efficient advanced industrial countries like Germany and Japan.
Despite its sizable population and economy, California generates a relatively minute, and falling, share of global CO2e emissions. The amount of global CO2e emissions and atmospheric concentrations would have been virtually unchanged, even if California’s GHG emissions were zero from 1990-2011, and remained at that level and assuming cur- rent emission trends in other locations continued through 2050.
(Originally published on my personal blog 5-16-2015)