Regional Decarbonization Framework

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A Partnership to Move the Region to Zero Carbon Emissions

The global climate is changing, and the effects are felt acutely at the local level through higher frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, droughts, wildfires, storms, and sea level rise. Furthermore, the growing economic, social, and environmental impacts associated with a changing climate are causing immediate and long-term impacts to our ecosystems, food production, health, safety, jobs, businesses, and communities across the San Diego region, particularly in underserved populations that are impacted disproportionately.

On January 27, 2021, the Board of Supervisors took action to create what has now developed

A Partnership to Move the Region to Zero Carbon Emissions

The global climate is changing, and the effects are felt acutely at the local level through higher frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, droughts, wildfires, storms, and sea level rise. Furthermore, the growing economic, social, and environmental impacts associated with a changing climate are causing immediate and long-term impacts to our ecosystems, food production, health, safety, jobs, businesses, and communities across the San Diego region, particularly in underserved populations that are impacted disproportionately.

On January 27, 2021, the Board of Supervisors took action to create what has now developed into the integrated Regional Decarbonization Framework (Framework), recognizing that the County of San Diego has an important role to play in leading decarbonization efforts within our region. The Framework has been developed in partnership with the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, and the University of San Diego (USD) Energy Policy Initiatives Center, and Inclusive Economics. In addition, the Framework fosters regional collaboration between public agencies, universities, schools, business, labor, communities, and tribes, as well as leverage resources at the State and federal levels.

The Framework is composed of three parts: a Technical Report, a Workforce Report, and an Implementation Playbook (Playbook). The draft Playbook is a resource that outlines areas for local governments, organizations, and businesses to consider as they move toward zero carbon emissions. The draft Playbook is currently available for public review until February 2, 2023. The County is also working with UC San Diego School of Urban Studies and Planning to conduct an analysis and evaluation of policy tools that can be considered by the Board to support our regional food system and agricultural community. A draft will be prepared for public comment in summer of 2023. Additional information can be found on our projects page.

Q&A

Post your questions about the Regional Decarbonization Framework here and staff will answer questions as soon as possible.

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    You didn't actually answer my question at all...

    cody.harrison asked 5 days ago

    Dear Cody, 

    Our response acknowledges that human health impacts will inform implementation strategies on climate action and adaptation. Please refer to Board direction from January 27, 2021 (03) to develop a framework for a regional zero carbon sustainability plan which shall include strategies and initiatives to achieve zero carbon in the region. Hence, the decarbonization framework is focused on getting to net zero greenhouse gas emissions that result in climate change. Our office is also directed by the Board to consult with a Regional Equity Group on issues such as air pollution, as well as social equity guidance on climate action.

    Here are the links to these documents:

    Board direction on regional decarbonization on January 27, 2021 (03): doc (sandiegocounty.gov)

    Board direction on sustainability and environmental justice on January 25, 2023: doc (sandiegocounty.gov)

    We hope this answers your question about why this framework is focusing climate change, and how other health impacts of pollution are being addressed concurrently in this process.

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    I have been communicating with members of the Borrego Springs community about the RDF plan for decarbonizing electricity in advance of upcoming district meetings about this. One comment I received was that Borrego is part of the Federal “sacrifice zone” for new energy production, and that therefore the idea that we would have input that could alter our location as a siting of utility scale projects is unlikely. Can you please comment on how much such a federal designation has affected the results of the RDF framework?

    rebfalk asked 19 days ago

    Thank you for your interest in the Regional Decarbonization Framework and for your question about the energy scenarios in Chapter 2 of the technical study. The technical report authored by UC San Diego does not propose any recommendations for energy siting to or by the County. The regional maps are illustrative of the spatial distribution of the results by the authors within each scenario with a variety of criteria and show the tradeoffs for each set of assumptions. There are various scenarios that protect conservation land, agriculture land, etc. However, the scenario maps are not intended to be used for siting projects in any community, and include a range of renewable energy sources, including solar (rooftop/infill/brownfield/utility-scale), wind, offshore wind, geothermal and wave energy to illustrate these options. Staff is not proposing any scenario for adoption.

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    Why is the discussion centering around electric vehicles acquisition instead of public transportation? Because a robust and reliable public transportation network would help reduce car use overall. This would help achieve the environmental goals faster and help individuals' cost of living go down without vehicle upkeep. Neither the County nor the State nor the Federal government is promoting public transportation in their environmental agenda. It's puzzling why there's this such a contempt against an efficient and reliable public transportation in a world class county like San Diego...

    Davidmiramonte1 asked 22 days ago

    Thank you for your comment on the need for public transportation solutions in decarbonizing the transportation sector. Modal shift to transit from polluting vehicles significantly reduces greenhouse gas, and CAP commitments in the region are listed in Appendix 8.A, Table A.2 (pp. 432-433) & Table A.5 (p. 436); regional transit planning is discussed on pp. 68-69. There are 200 mentions of transit in the technical study, however, there are no recommendations from staff in this report.

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    This Regional Decarbonization Framework is the best plan I have ever seen. Thank you for your hard work.

    Ritaclement asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. Please continue to engage so we can come to collaborative solutions on regional decarbonization.

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    Why is most of the storytelling around regional decarbonization related to climate change when getting to Net Zero locally makes very nearly ZERO difference in the amount of GHG-related climate change we experience locally? This storytelling seems all the more misplaced given that the human health impacts of fossil fuel use ARE felt locally, and are around 27x more costly to society as a whole than the GHG components of fossil emissions.

    cody.harrison asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your comment on the human health impacts of fossil fuels. Implementation of decarbonization strategies would be informed by environmental justice concerns, particularly air pollution in disadvantaged communities.

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    Hi-what sort of upgrades may the typical residential electrical panel need to accommodate an electric water heater vs. natural gas one? Thinking we may need a panel upgrade and add a solar panel to offset. Thanks!

    steveweihe asked 3 months ago

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your question. The answer is dependent on the building and things like the electrical capacity of the panel, the number of available breakers on the panel, the existing electrical load, and the additional electrical load from the new appliance. There may also be other factors relating to the building's electrical system or wiring. The demands from an electric water heater may or may not be enough to reach the threshold of requiring a panel upgrade, depending on factors specific to your home. There are many resources available online, including resources that provide information on panels and panel upgrades, home energy audits, water heaters, rebates, and incentives. For example, the EnegyStar.gov website has several resources on panel upgrades and water heaters that may be useful: https://www.energystar.gov/products/energy_star_home_upgrade/make_your_home_electric_ready and https://www.energystar.gov/products/energy_star_home_upgrade/super_efficient_water_heater. 

    Additionally, if you have any specific suggestions to share, please feel free to email our team at ZeroCarbon@sdcounty.ca.gov or take a look at the Buildings Special Topic Working Group page, which is a one of five Special Topic Working Groups, and add comments or ideas there. If you are interested in joining the Buildings group, you can register here to access the Buildings page, and any other page, and join in on the conversation about regional building decarbonization implementation. Please reach out to us at ZeroCarbon@sdcounty.ca.gov if you have any questions or if you are unable to register.

    Thank you for your engagement!

    Kind regards,

    The RDF Team


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    Hi, I just reviewed the email sent yesterday by Elise Hanson about the RDF, documents, and upcoming BOS meeting. I'd like someone to walk me through the maps for the elecrification options because I want to understand what those options mean for Borrego Springs. The monthly Sponsor Group meeting is this coming Thursday. Any chance someone could call before then? Rebecca Falk, Chair, 760-331-7526

    rebfalk asked 5 months ago

    Hi Rebecca,

    The Geospatial Analysis of Energy Production (Chapter 2) of the Technical Report is regional in scope to assess the capacity for renewable energy generation, and it is not intended to be used for specific energy siting in any community. There are 9 scenarios in the report that consider various combinations of criteria such as cost and conservation; the authors of RDF Technical Report do not recommend any particular scenario, rather they provide different geospatial results based on the assumptions for each scenario.

    A member of our team can walk you through the energy scenarios. You can also reach us at ZeroCarbon@sdcounty.ca.gov.

    Murtaza

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    I was told there are specific work groups to sign up for. How is this done?

    Pamela Nelson asked 6 months ago

    Yes Pamela, please sign up for the Special Topic Working Groups here: Regional Decarbonization Framework | Engage San Diego County 

    Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions at ZeroCarbon@sdCounty.ca.gov

    Thank you!

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    Have you considered a Decarbonization Framework provided by a concept of solar manufacturing at scale in our desert, using panels products to produce panels that reduce energy footprint, provide jobs and regional income? Perhaps one like https://youtu.be/5Sgmp1aUjnA

    PatAmbre asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for this suggestion, we will include this idea for consideration in implementation. Manufacturing is discussed both in Employment Chapter 6, as well as in Local Policy Opportunity Chapter 8. There is also some background provided on the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020, to provide policy context for ideas such as the one you are presenting. If you are able to participate, please consider registering for the Special Topic Working Group, and select "Electricity" or any other topic of interest to you.

    Here is the link to register:

    Regional Decarbonization Framework | Engage San Diego County

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    The report mentions new research related to the amount of carbon sequestered by various habitat types. But I could not find the detailed calculations that show how much carbon is sequestered- particularly for wetlands. Diane Nygaard

    Diane Nygaard asked 7 months ago

    Hi Dianne,

    The report provides estimates of the carbon flow and sequestration of different types of land uses within San Diego County.

    The detailed estimates of carbon stock and flux multipliers by Holland vegetation class type and the sources are provided in Appendix 5.A (pp. 202-206) in the March draft of the technical report. Please let us know if there is anything else we can locate for you in the report.

    We intend to be posting the final technical report soon, so please check back here: Regional Decarbonization Framework (sandiegocounty.gov) 

    Murtaza

Page last updated: 03 Feb 2023, 08:50 AM