2020 Report on Climate Action Progress

County of San Diego

2020 Report on Climate Action Plan Progress

The County reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through sustainability actions implemented across several County departments.

In 2020, the County reduced 160,743 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) 1 of GHG emissions through the implementation of measures within the built environment & transportation, energy, water & wastewater, and agriculture & conservation emissions sectors. These reductions exceeded the County's 2020 GHG reduction target, set in accordance with State targets/legislation, by 22%. 

Find status updates on all County GHG reduction measures and on our 2020 Report on Climate Action Plan Progress Appendix.

1 MTCO2e is the standard unit of measurement for GHG monitoring and evaluation.

22% above 2020 target

County GHG reductions were equivalent to reducing the emissions from 18,087,431 gallons of gasoline!2

2020 Reductions by Emission Sector

Built Environment & Transportation


Water & Wastewater

Agriculture & Conservation









2020 reductions achieved =

2020 target =





Climate Action Highlights from 2020


reduction in County fleet emissions below 2014 levels


rain barrels distributed through the County Watershed Protection Program's discounted rain barrel program


trees planted by the Department of Parks and Recreation


homes with solar installations permitted through the County's Online Permits platform


acres of open space conserved through the Multiple Species Conservation Program

Looking Ahead

The County will continue to make climate action progress by reducing GHG emissions and providing co-benefits, such as clean air and water and improved public health, through implementation of programs and policies within five emissions sectors:

Built Environment & Transportation

• Improve roadway segments as multi-modal

• Install electric vehicle charging stations

• Reduce County employee vehicle miles traveled 


• Increase renewable electricity

• Reduce energy use at County facilities

• Increase energy efficiency

Solid Waste

• Increase solid waste diversion

• Promote and encourage waste prevention, recycling, and composting through technical assistance and education

Water & Wastewater

• Increase rainwater harvesting

• Reduce potable water use at County facilities

• Install water efficient landscaping

Agriculture & Conservation

• Convert farm equipment to electric

• Increase residential and County tree planting

Climate Action Plan Update

The County is preparing a Climate Action Plan Update (CAP Update). This effort will result in a qualified plan to reduce GHG emissions in the unincorporated area of the county and emissions associated with operating County facilities. Through new policies and programs, the CAP Update will help us make progress toward our commitment to reduce climate change impacts in our community.

The CAP Update project will:

  • Update the GHG inventory
  • Incorporate new GHG modeling methods
  • Set new GHG reduction targets that exceed State targets
  • Establish actions to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2035 - 2045
  • Emphasize environmental justice and equity
  • Be shaped by community input


The CAP reduces emissions for the unincorporated county where the County has land use jurisdiction (in green above) and the approximately 430 County facilities located across 19 jurisdictions.

The County is committed to creating a Climate Action Plan that serves the community and our mission to protect the public’s health and safety, sustain the environment, and improve the quality of life for our residents.

Visit the CAP Update project website to learn more and get involved in the process!

Take Climate Action!

Individual actions matter! In addition to calling for sustainable changes at a large scale, you can do your part by making decisions that are less harmful to the environment.

Sustainability Programming

Achievement Awards

Innovative services and programming that provide parks, libraries, and public safety contribute to a healthy and thriving community. In 2020, the County received 54 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties in recognition of such programs.

Here are some of the County’s sustainability-related programs that received Achievement Awards in 2020.

Community and Economic Development

Borrego Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan

Planning & Development Services

Infrastructure, Energy, & Sustainability

Stay Connected

For questions and media inquiries, contact us here.

View previously published annual monitoring reports here.