California’s carbon emissions are back to ’90s levels. It can be done, people!

The California Air Resources Board said Wednesday that the state had hit its goal of bringing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels four years ahead of schedule. The drop came thanks to a boom in renewables and improving efficiency.

“California set the toughest emissions targets in the nation, tracked progress and delivered results,” said Governor Jerry Brown in a statement.

The state actually hit the goal in 2016 and is only reporting it now because it takes a while to crunch the numbers. A 2006 law set the target and put the Air Resources Board in charge of charting the state’s progress.

The board’s report shows that carbon emissions dropped 13 percent from their recent peak, while the average Californian’s carbon footprint shrank 23 percent, to 10.8 metric tons per person — about half the national average.

The results put the lie to the canard that emissions can only fall when an economy shrinks: the Golden State’s economy boomed as it cut its emissions. “California now produces twice as many goods and services for the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as the rest of the nation,” according to the Air Resources Board. 07-12-18

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