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More trees, more composting, fewer emissions: Supervisors approve trio of sustainability measures

09/02/22

In a trio of environmental actions, San Diego County supervisors approved an updated plan to slash carbon emissions, a series of sustainability measures and expanded options for composting.

The three actions Wednesday aim to advance the county’s goals of combating climate change and reducing waste and enlist cities, businesses and other organizations in that effort.

In an update to the county’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the board considered steps to achieve net carbon zero, the point at which carbon removed from the atmosphere equals the amount of carbon emitted.

That plan, called the decarbonization framework, explores ways to remove carbon emissions from energy, buildings, transportation, land use and natural resources, as well as food systems and the reuse or recycling of resources.

“Collaboration is key,” board chair Nathan Fletcher said. “As a county, we don’t have jurisdiction over 18 cities. We’re all aware we have to tackle climate change. You see the horrific flooding, the intense heat, lightning strikes, wildfires. You see it in water levels, lakes, the Sierra snowpack.”

He added that transforming the region’s energy systems and economy will have repercussions for local labor markets and said the county must assist workers during that transition.

“The fossil fuel industry did a lot of damage while simultaneously providing a lot of good jobs,” he said. “We cannot simultaneously save the planet and destroy the middle class.”

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