By 2035, the city hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% – and generate 100% of its electricity from clean power sources like solar energy and wind.
The reason there is so much skepticism, however, is because the initial Climate Action Plan was so short on specifics. There wasn’t much of a roadmap for how San Diego would achieve these aggressive green targets.
A perfect example is the “public transit” clause, in which officials hope to encourage 50% of San Diego residents to commute to work by foot, bike, bus, or rail.
Good luck with that. Californians love their cars.
And yet, San Diego continues to defy expectations.
In fact, Mayor Kevin Faulconer just announced that the city is actually way ahead of schedule.
What the Early Reports Say about San Diego’s Climate Action Plan
Last week, the mayor met with political and business leaders throughout the region to deliver a “state of the union” address on the city’s Climate Action Plan so far.
The most notable highlight from this report was that San Diego has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17% (from 2010 to 2016). This is significantly higher and sooner than the original 15% reduction pegged for 2020.
When asked to explain this progress, San Diego’s chief sustainability officer, Cody Hooven, cited a number of factors, including:
- The city’s aggressive water conservation campaign. This is a no-brainer given California’s record drought conditions.
- The growth of rooftop solar in San Diego. This is also a no-brainer given our abundant sunshine and expensive utility rates.
It also helps that San Diego’s Climate Action Plan is legally binding. Failure to meet greenhouse gas targets and renewable energy goals carry stiff penalties for stakeholders throughout the region.
When asked if a Trump Administration would make progress harder in the future, Mayor Faulconer said that he was “committed to this 100% [goal]” because “our environment is central to our quality of life.”
He’s absolutely right about that.
As a coastal, tourism-dependent city, San Diego cannot thrive without a clean environment.
But we’d also like to point out that protecting this environment is actually a major source of economic growth for the city. Solar power, water conservation, and wind energy all create local green jobs that can’t be outsourced. And they also help to reduce costs by allowing us to use resources more efficiently.
We still have a long way to go before San Diego reaches 100% renewable energy. But with your help, we’ll get there. And as an added bonus, you’ll receive numerous environmental and financial benefits when you support the city’s Climate Action Plan.
To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation.