2021 Climate Action Progress Annual Report

County of San Diego

2021 Climate Action Progress
Annual Report

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

In 2021, the County reduced 201,932 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. Find status updates on all County GHG reduction measures on our 2021 Report on Climate Action Progress Appendix.

In addition to these GHG emission reductions, the County made progress on other sustainability-related efforts such as implementation of the Electric Vehicle Roadmap and updates to the Climate Action Plan (CAP). The County also began new efforts to develop a Regional Decarbonization Framework that will plan for a zero carbon future for San Diego. To learn more about these efforts and other ways the County is working to ensure a sustainable and just future for our community, find all available Annual Monitoring Reports here.

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

201,932 MTCO2e Reduction

2021 County GHG reductions were equivalent to reducing the emissions from 22,722,178 gallons of gasoline!2

The County has continued to make climate action progress and provide co-benefits such as clean air and water, green jobs, and improved public health through implementation of programs and policies within five emissions sectors:

Built Environment & Transportation


Solid Waste

Water & Wastewater

Agriculture & Conservation



As of 2021, the County achieved 22.5% of the 2030 reduction target of 897,145 MTCO2e.

County of San Diego
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions

Climate Action Highlights from 2021


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

Permitted residential solar power equivalent to


homes, over 90% through the County's Online Permits platform


acres of open space conserved through the Multiple Species Conservation Program

Electric Vehicle Roadmap

Electric Vehicle Roadmap cover

In October 2019, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the Electric Vehicle Roadmap (EV Roadmap) and took significant steps to increase electric vehicle ownership and use, and install charging stations in the county’s unincorporated area and at County facilities. The EV Roadmap includes six goals that increase and accelerate electrification of our transportation network in order to reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality in the unincorporated area. Implementation of the EV Roadmap supports the County’s 2018 CAP efforts to meet GHG reduction targets and sets the County on a path to meet anticipated future demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Action + Progress

Since Board adoption, several initiatives to advance EV Roadmap goals have been completed or progressed. Implementation efforts are regularly updated on the EV Roadmap website, and key highlights from 2021 have included:

  • Installed over 100 EV charging stations at County facilities for fleet vehicles
  • Increased the number of EVs in the County’s fleet to 152 vehicles in use or on-order
  • Implemented a Renewable Energy Fee Waiver Pilot Program. Staff are currently evaluating program effectiveness
  • Launched the EV Consumer Guide website that was viewed over 7,000 times within six months of release
  • Completed a Community Transportation Needs Assessment in La Presa and Spring Valley
  • Increased teleworking by County employees and reduced greater than 13,554 MTCO2e from employee commutes in 2021
  • Developed a Regional EV Gap Analysis as part of the Accelerate to Zero Emissions Regional Collaboration

Did you know?
Electric vehicles have a 50% savings for fuel and maintenance compared to traditional, internal combustion engine vehicles.

Ongoing Electric Vehicle Efforts

The County has multiple ongoing efforts to increase electric vehicle use and access to EV charging infrastructure. These efforts range from increasing the number of EVs used in County operations to regional collaboration to ensure all San Diego county residents have access to electric vehicles in the future. Some ongoing efforts include:

EV Consumer Guide website


The County launched the regional EV Consumer Guide website, offering general and technical online education and support on EV-related topics to consumers in the San Diego region. This website provides important information on purchasing an EV and installing chargers, including available vehicle purchase incentives. The San Diego Union-Tribune highlighted this effort as a regional resource.

Electric vehicle chargers


The County has nearly completed the installation of 119 new Level 2 EV charging stations at the County Operations Center. These chargers will support the rapidly increasing number of EVs in the County’s fleet including the 75 new EVs ordered in the last fiscal year alone! These will add to the 77 EVs already in operation in the County fleet. The County will continue to install EV chargers at County facilities to support public and fleet charging, including future stations at County parks, libraries, LiveWell centers, and more!



San Diego County Library is retiring two diesel-fueled Bookmobiles, or mobile libraries, and replacing them with four all-electric Bookmobiles. Starting in 2022, these vans will provide mobile library services to residents and students throughout the region while emitting zero GHG emissions and improving air quality in our communities. The County Library is also supporting the electrification of private vehicles by installing additional public EV chargers, including four new Direct Current Fast Chargers at the Julian Library funded through the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP).

A2Z Press Event


The County participates in the Accelerate to Zero Emissions (A2Z) Regional Collaboration, with the goal of accelerating investment in zero-emission vehicles and EV infrastructure to reduce air pollution and combat climate change throughout the region. In July 2021, the collaboration produced the Regional EV Gap Analysis, which identifies anticipated future demand for regional EV infrastructure and current barriers for adoption. The A2Z Collaboration has begun development of a Regional EV Strategy that will identify efforts to support EV infrastructure deployment throughout the region and is anticipated to be completed in 2023.

Climate Action Plan Update

In January 2021, the County began preparing a Climate Action Plan (CAP) Update to establish a bold vision for responding to climate change. This effort will result in a qualified plan that mitigates beyond state GHG reduction targets to net zero emissions and below by 2035-2045 in the unincorporated area of the county and at County facilities. Through new policies and programs, the CAP Update will help us reduce climate change impacts in our community.

Framework for the Future

The CAP Update is using updated data and modeling to show where the County can reduce emissions to net zero with an equity focus. This work will be shaped by robust community engagement, centering environmental justice and equity in order to recognize and address climate change impacts experienced by our most vulnerable unincorporated communities.

CAP project boundary map

The CAP reduces emissions for the 772,239 acres and over 500,000 residents 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.

Get Involved with the CAP Update!

In 2021, the County held eight CAP Update workshops to engage residents and stakeholders in the development of the project. Community engagement will continue throughout the project process.

Visit our project website for a project timeline, and follow along on Facebook and Twitter to learn more and get involved in the process!

Sustainability Initiatives at the County of San Diego

In 2021, the County Board of Supervisors took bold action towards addressing the climate crisis through a variety of sustainable, equitable policy directives. Read highlights below to learn more about County sustainability beyond the CAP.

Collaborating to Reach Zero Carbon

  • RDF is the County’s science-based, holistic approach to guide the region’s decarbonization efforts
  • The effort will identify local policy opportunities to support decarbonization in transportation, electricity, buildings, and land use

Principles for Sustainable Development

  • Identifies principles of sustainable development that could inform future land use decisions
  • Will look to address the issues of vehicle miles traveled, housing and climate, economic development, promotion of agricultural and tourism, and others

Sustainability in our Operations

  • Implements and advances departmental sustainability practices through actions, programs, and policies to contribute to County CAP goals and RDF pathways
  • Creates a comprehensive strategy to achieve sustainability in internal and external operations

Dedicated Climate Equity Resources

  • A regional voice for the community and tribes on sustainability and environmental justice issues
  • Leading a regional effort to reduce community exposures to health hazards while addressing equity and environmental and climate justice in communities disproportionately impacted by environmental burdens
  • Addressing past and present injustices, and ensuring that these injustices do not occur in the future

Stay Connected

For questions and media inquiries, contact us here.

View previously published annual monitoring reports here.