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What is the Decarbonization Framework?

The Regional Decarbonization Framework is a climate-action model put forth by the County of San Diego, and touted as "a collaborative effort to lower the region's carbon footprint."

From the County's website: "On January 27, 2021, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors approved the development of a Framework for a regional zero-carbon sustainability plan in partnership with the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and the University of San Diego (USD) Energy Policy Initiatives Center. The Framework will provide science-based pathways to achieve zero carbon in the region."


  • What is “decarbonization”? Simply put, decarbonization is about reducing the gases in the atmosphere that trap heat. The goal is to achieve a balance of the carbon cycle in nature, so that the planet stops warming. We would be utilizing a three-pronged strategy: reducing emissions of carbon dioxide to zero; reducing “super-pollutants” such as soot and smog; and carbon storage and capture through natural and technological means. Decarbonization also has a number of co-benefits, such as the investments and employment opportunities created in the carbon-free economy.

The 'Regional Decarbonization Framework' is the local response to a global movement -- to explore various ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is also closely aligned with SANDAG's '2021 Regional Plan' (which we will explore in more detail in another post.) Both the Regional Decarbonization Framework as well as the 2021 Regional Plan will serve as the basis for decisions about numerous things in the next few years, including what kind of housing gets built (and where); land-use decisions; prioritization of transportation modalities (i.e., bikes above cars); and fees and taxes you'll pay to fund the plans (including "Value Pricing and User Fees" ,i.e., dynamic pricing that goes up when demand gets higher).

Both the County of San Diego as well as SANDAG have gone all-in on this framework. Their visional aspirations will have deep impacts on not only your wallet, but on your quality of living as well. We encourage you to get active and educated about what the County of San Diego as well as SANDAG have in store for your future.

Published 9/16/2022


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