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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Biobased diesel made up 27% of all on-road diesel fuel sold in California in 2019

Source: California Air Resources Board

California Air Resources Board released 2019 greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory data July 28, indicating transportation emissions continue to decline in the Golden State thanks in large part to biobased diesel fuel. The state’s use of renewable diesel jumped 61 percent in 2019 under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, according to CARB. As a result, biodiesel and renewable diesel made up 27 percent of all on-road diesel fuel sold in the state in 2019, displacing nearly 900 million gallons of petroleum diesel and reducing carbon dioxide by 17 million metric tons that year.

Overall, GHG emissions from all sectors in California fell from 425 million metric tons in 2018 to 418 million in 2019.

Source: California Air Resources Board

Per capita GHG emissions in California have also dropped from a 2001 peak of 14 metric tons per person to 10.5 metric tons per person in 2019, a 25 percent decrease and roughly half the national average, according to CARB.

Trends also demonstrate that the carbon intensity of California’s economy is falling. Economic carbon intensity measures the amount of carbon emitted per million dollars of production. From 2000 to 2019, the carbon intensity of California’s economy decreased by 45 percent—even while the state’s gross domestic product increased by 63 percent.

The original target for emissions reductions under AB 32 was a return to 1990 GHG levels by 2020, and that was achieved four years ahead of schedule.

Although much of the 2019 data was positive, emissions from residential and commercial buildings increased yet again in 2019 due, in part, to greater natural gas use. Furthermore, CARB stated that California will require much deeper GHG emissions reductions to reach its 2030 target and carbon neutrality by no later than 2045.

“This inventory is good news but much larger reductions are needed to reach the ambitious 2030 target—an additional 40 percent reduction below the original 2020 limit,” said CARB Chair Liane M. Randolph.

At the request of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is in the midst of a recall, CARB will evaluate pathways for the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

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