California greenhouse gas emissions up 2% in 2012; driven by economic growth, closing of San Onofre, and drought
According to the most recent greenhouse gas emissions inventory from the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.7% in 2012 from 2011 to 459 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e).
According to ARB, the increase was driven primarily by strong economic growth in the state; the unexpected closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS); and drought conditions that limited in-state hydropower generation. Since 2000, GHG emissions have decreased by 1.6% (from 466 to 459 MMTCO2e) after reaching a peak of 493 MMTCO2e in 2004.
In 2012, the transportation sector was the largest source of emissions in California, accounting for approximately 37% of the total emissions. On-road vehicles accounted for more than 90% of emissions in the transportation sector. However, transportation related GHG emissions have dropped 11% since 2006. The industrial sector accounted for approximately 22% of the total emissions. Emissions from electricity generation were about 21% of total emissions, with higher contribution from in-state than from imported electricity.
Per capita emissions in California have decreased by 12% from 2000 to 2012, in spite of the overall 11.4% increase in population during the same period. Per capita emissions from in-state electricity generation have declined by 22% from 2000 to 2012.