The Road to Emissions Reduction


Did you know that driving accounts for up to 39% of state and 45% of unincorporated county greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)? Any reduction in transportation emissions can have a large impact.

The County of San Diego is doing its part by transitioning fleet vehicles to more fuel efficient or electric models, and using renewable fuels wherever possible. The County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) Measure T-3.4 reduces fleet emissions by 10% and 20% below 2014 levels by 2020 and 2030, respectively.

So far, fleet emissions are down by 13%, exceeding the 2020 target!

County fleet emissions graph
County fleet emissions through 2019

Transportation emissions

San Diego transportation emissionsTransportation accounts for a large percentage of state GHG emissions.

California Assembly Bill 398 reauthorized 2030 GHG emissions targets for the state, setting a GHG target of at least 40% below the 1990 levels of emissions by 2030. Because tailpipe emissions from cars and heavy-duty trucks are the largest source of emissions in California, automobiles have become a major way to help achieve the state’s GHG reduction goals.

There are many programs and policies in place to help residents, businesses, and local governments in the state reduce their transportation emissions. These policies include rebates for zero-emission or electric vehicles (ZEVs and EVs), High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) or Carpool lane decals for ZEV’s, ZEV infrastructure funding, and creating sustainable communities with California Senate Bill 375 to help reduce travel distances.

Ways to reduce transportation-related emissions at home

Reducing your transportation-related GHG emissions can come from many different places depending on specific circumstances. Purchasing an electric or hybrid car to replace an old car reduces tailpipe emissions, and if the electricity is renewably generated from solar, reduces emissions to zero. Carpooling and trip-chaining can help reduce total miles traveled per person as well. Trip chaining consists of traveling to multiple places in one trip to reduce distance going back-and-forth from home. Finally, substituting short trips with walking, cycling, or other alternative modes can eliminate emissions from short trips.

Strategies from the County of San Diego

San Diego County electric vehicleElectric Vehicle charging at a County facility.

The County is reducing vehicle emissions from its fleet by replacing older vehicles with electric and more fuel-efficient vehicles, with the current fleet having 49 EVs. Diesel vehicles in the fleet now run on 99% renewable diesel, reducing emissions. There are currently 84 EV charging stations throughout County facilities to provide the appropriate infrastructure for fleet EV use. Finally, County policies reduce the number of vehicles in the county inventory and reduce excessive vehicles trips.

You can learn about County actions and goals through the Electric Vehicle Road Map.