California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years early

Officials say California greenhouse gas emissions have fallen below 1990 levels, putting the state well on its way toward meeting long-term goals to fight climate change.

The state Air Resources Board announced Wednesday that pollution levels are down 13 percent since their 2004 peak — as the economy grew 26 percent since that year.

The agency says greenhouse gas emissions dropped 2.7 percent in 2016 — the latest year available — to about 430 million metric tons. That’s just below the 431 million metric tons produced in 1990.

California law requires that emissions return to 1990 levels by 2020 and reach 40 percent below that marker by 2030. The Air Resources Board has broad authority to achieve those goals.

Gov. Jerry Brown says California is setting — and meeting — ambitious targets.

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