California among 33 states that reduced CO2 while growing its economy
A new report from the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program has found that 33 states and Washington D.C. have managed to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions while simultaneously growing their economies.
Lead author Devashree Saha said her findings challenge assertions that efforts to fight global warming will necessarily hurt the economy -- a position taken frequently by President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign.
"Our research completely debunks that notion," Saha said. "The fact that 33 states and DC have managed to de-link economic growth from carbon emissions is a very encouraging trend. Though there is still a very huge gap from where we are and where we need to be. States need to ramp up and do more."
KPCC environment reporter Emily Guerin spoke with Saha about her study. An edited version of their conversation is below.
Why did you want to do this study?What did you find? You use the word “decoupled” a lot in this study. What do you mean by that? How important were state policies in helping those 33 states decrease their carbon emissions? What about market forces? Natural gas prices have been low enough to prompt many power plant operators to make the switch from coal, which is twice as carbon intensive as natural gas. Meanwhile California is shutting down its last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon. How does California compare to other states in your study? Do you expect the trend you identified in these 33 states to continue under the Trump administration? Do you think your study will change anyone’s mind in the Trump administration? As someone who trades in facts and research, how do you feel right now, a time when facts seem to matter less than ever?