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Green Innovation Index offers mixed news about California’s green economy and climate goals

California has made progress toward the state’s aggressive climate goals, but that progress is not h -pening fast enough. The latest Green Innovation Index tracks how California’s green economy is achieving its goals, such as the state’s drive to have a net-zero carbon economy by 2045. The report is produced by the bipartisan group Next 10 and Beacon Economics.

The study finds that California’s clean energy economy is booming, but the reductions are not coming fast enough to meet emissions reduction targets. The report found that overall greenhouse gas savings decreased 1.6% between 2018 and 2019, but to meet the government’s target of reducing emissions by 40% below 1990 levels, the state needs to make annual cuts of 4, Reach 3%.

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The leader of the next 10 remains optimistic. “We are one of the most innovative countries, not just in America, but worldwide. We have the tools to successfully reduce these emissions, ”said Noel Perry, Founder of Next 10.

Matthew Bowler

An electric vehicle is being charged, March 28, 2016.

Perry said leadership was needed to help the state achieve emissions reductions like never before. The electrification of the transportation sector is key. The report found that only 2.2% of the state’s vehicles are battery-electric, plug-in hybrids, or hydrogen-powered.

Changing consumer habits is one challenge, improving infrastructure is another.

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“With President Biden’s infrastructure plan, more charging stations are coming,” said Perry. “The state provides significantly more money for the infrastructure of charging stations.”

The transportation sector has seen a sharp drop in heavy truck emissions, falling by more than 7% from 2018 to 2019. It was the second year in a row that emissions from light and heavy trucks fell. The index found that natural gas is still a major source of energy in California and is problematic if the state plans to move away from fossil fuel use.

“We added more natural gas power c -acity over the past year than any other source,” said Patrick Adler, a researcher with Beacon Economics. The report concluded that households need to cut off gas consumption, Adler said it would be an easy switch to all-electric homes.

RELATED: San Diego County’s Regulators Are Driving Complicated Climate Action Plan

There are current problems that civil servants have difficulty with. Climate change is increasing the frequency and size of forest fires in California, and these fires are releasing carbon into the atmosphere. “It is possible that emissions from forest fires may exceed emissions from other sources,” said Adler.

On the positive side, the state had a dynamic clean energy economy. The report found that the solar industry employs 124,817 jobs. Renewable wind power has roughly 6,273 jobs, but the number could rise dramatically if the Biden government’s climate policy is  -proved by Congress.

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