City of San Diego Updates the Climate Action Plan

City of San Diego Seal

City of San Diego Seal

Oct. 1, 2014 (San Diego) The City of San Diego has issued an updated version of the draft Climate Action Plan. This was first issued back in February, and Reporting San Diego did go through it back then.

Why is the city doing this? It is not just because the city wants to lead. There are state mandates at play. The main one is the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, from now on known as AB 32.

AB 32 requires all levels of state government, from local on up, to reduce the green house production to 1990 levels by 2020. The gas inventory inside AB 32 is:

 

  •  Carbon dioxide (CO2)
    2.    Methane (CH4)
    3.    Nitrous oxide (N2O)
    4.    Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
    5.    Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
    6.    Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
    7.    Nitrogen trifluoride* (NF3)

This plan is part of a slew of Climate Action Plans that are being prepared by different levels of government. The state and state law mandate some of the goals in it.

Still, there are changes in this new version, which was presented Sep. 30, 2014 by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to the public. The previous version was issued when Council President Todd Gloria was Interim Mayor after the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner. The plan is very similar, but there are changes. For example, the strategies identified by the city to reduce Green House Gases, the plan will look to improve on these items:

 

  • ENERGY & WATER EFFICIENT BUILDINGS
  • CLEAN & RENEWABLE ENERGY
  • WALKING & TRANSIT
  • ZERO WASTE
  • CLIMATE RESILIENCY

Bicycling, though it is encouraged by organizations such as San Diego Organization of Governments (SANDAG), has been removed from the list. So was land use as a separate goal.

The report has in both versions where the city obtains about 50 percent of it’s energy in the form of renewables. But the most important part of the draft report, in either version, is how to reduce emissions.

The report states:

“The CAP identifies a comprehensive set of goals, actions, and targets that the City can use to reduce GHG emissions. These actions include a combination of ordinances, City Council policies, resolutions, programs, and incentives, as well as outreach and education activities. As implementation occurs, each action will be assessed and monitored. The City of San Diego recognizes the need for proper staffing, financing, and resource allocation to ensure the success of each mechanism included in the CAP.”

It is also clear that the city needs to meet the goals of AB 32 set for 2020, and for this the city needs to act fast. One of the goals is to “Reduce energy use by 15 percent per square foot in 25 percent of total non-residential square feet by 2020 and 50 percent of total square feet by 2035.”

One of the elements preserved in the plan is to increase the municipal fleet of zero emission vehicles to 50 percent by 2020 and 95 percent by 2035. There is also a goal to increase energy efficiency across the city.

So is to:

“Reduce energy use by 15 percent per square foot in of total non-residential square feet by 2020.” Though the goals here are more modest than they were in the February plan.

What is gone in many respects is the emphasis in transit and to encourage the use of bikes. The bike boulevards are still there, including the installation of round about, but the whole biking area in the plan is gone.

There is something to be said about the goals though. The mitigation goals for green house gasses are actually slightly higher in this version of the plan.

Overall this feels like a compromise that the Mayor could accept, from what was originally presented to the City Council by Council President Todd Gloria back in February.

You can find Gloria’s plan here.

And here is the Mayor’s plan

 

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Categories: City Hall Politics, Climate Change, faulconer, Gloria

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