A view of the I-5 freeway near downtown San Diego during rush hour on March 5, 2020. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Even if all of the cities in San Diego County did everything they planned to fight climate change, the region would still only be halfway toward its goal of “net zero” emissions by 2035. 

County leaders are pushing San Diego to eliminate planet-warming gasses in less than 15 years, a full decade faster than the state. But Voice of San Diego’s MacKenzie Elmer unpacks just how gargantuan a promise that is in a new story

For instance, a new study shows that even if the region’s 16 Climate Action Plans — how local governments hope to mitigate or eliminate greenhouse gasses — go according to plan, getting rid of all the carbon dioxide, methane and other emissions within San Diego County’s geographic border won’t be possible in just a few decades. 

Local government’s power over fossil fuel use only goes so far. Cars and trucks are responsible for 47 percent of the region’s emissions. But local policymakers alone can’t force residents to make decisions about what cars they own or how much they drive. 

Click here to read more about the county’s “net zero” goal.

San Diego Unified Vax Mandate Delayed; Personal Belief Exemptions Yet To Be Tested

San Diego Unified is being forced by logistical hurdles to push back its deadline to require students to have the COVID-19 vaccine, the Union-Tribune reported

The district’s vaccine mandate is currently tied up in court. But a judge has allowed the mandate to go forward, while the courts come to a final answer. Even still, officials decided to put off the mandate until next year, because of the challenge of trying to implement it mid-semester, one board member said. 

San Diego Unified plans to not allow families to file personal belief exemptions from the vaccine. That is at odds with state leaders, who have said they plan to leave room for a personal belief exemption.

School districts in California are generally imbued with a great deal of local control. Even though state leaders may allow personal belief exemptions, San Diego Unified still may be allowed to craft tighter restrictions. 

Catholic schools across the state have already decided to allow personal belief exemptions, as we previously reported

In Other News

  • Police in Escondido and La Mesa have decided (at least temporarily) to stop sharing license plate data with other agencies outside California. State law appears to prohibit this practice and there’s a lawsuit pending in Marin County. (inewsource) 
  • As disputes over housing rage across the state, U-T columnist Michael Smolens wrote about the history of California’s landmark environmental law and how it expanded over time to include both public and private development. 
  • For months, the United Lowrider Coalition has been lobbying National City to repeal its ban on cruising. City officials are temporarily lifting the ban as part of a trial period. (10News)
  • Federal officials are looking to rename three geographic sites in East County because they include a word considered offensive to Indigenous people. (Fox 5)

Our website got a refresh yesterday. You’ll notice things look a bit different — but it’s all still there. Have a question or feedback? Contact us here. This Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Will Huntsberry and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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