California’s Climate Change Fight Is Enabling the State to Change Itself

Emissions Metrics Aside, the Golden State Has Accomplished Big Things

California’s fight against climate change isn’t doing all that much to slow climate change. But the fight should be considered a success anyway.

While California reached its 2020 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels with ease, it is lagging badly in meeting its next target—of slashing emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030—and that has made California’s climate change regime a target. Environmental scientists and climate-focused policymakers criticize the state’s lack of progress in meeting such targets; conservatives and climate denialists say this failure demonstrates …