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Port of San Diego eyes net zero 10 years ahead of California targets

The Port of San Diego is to develop a framework to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, ten years before the State of California’s carbon neutrality goal.

Agreed unanimously by the San Diego Country Board of Supervisors in a recent meeting, the Regional Carbon Sustainability Plan is the first of its kind for the region and will be developed in partnership with the University of California, San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy.

The Port is one of many agencies in the region set to collaborate and support the plan that could make San Diego the largest county in the US to commit to achieving such a goal by 2035.

As a stakeholder, port staff will contribute by providing information on sources of emissions that are unique to the port, such as vessels, vehicles and equipment.

‘The port’s contributions to the development of the Regional Carbon Sustainability Plan will be essential as there are important industries that only exist on the San Diego bayfront,’ said Vice Chair Nora Vargas, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, who crafted the plan along with Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and whose district includes much of the San Diego Bay waterfront.

‘This policy, developed in collaboration with the Port and other agencies, will incorporate strategies tailored to the region to achieve zero carbon in key sectors including energy, transportation and land use. These strategies will help to reduce the burden on low-income communities, especially communities of colour, while also providing good-paying jobs building the infrastructure that will propel the region into the future.’

As previously reported, the Port of San Diego is one of several US ports set to benefit from funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which, in October 2020, awarded the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District $2 million to replace one Tier 2 diesel-powered tugboat with a new tugboat powered by a zero-emission electric propulsion system.

Rhys Berry

Rhys Berry