SAN DIEGO — The Climate Action Campaign released its 2018 Climate Action Plan Report Card Wednesday, which calls for a localized “Green New Deal” for San Diego County.
The report found that efforts are being made countywide to combat the coming repercussions of climate change, such as the city of San Diego’s progress on establishing a joint-powers public-sector energy provider. The CAC also noted that incoming elected officials around the county seem to take seriously the need for legitimate action against climate change.
However, the CAC still posited that the county and its municipalities are not treating climate change with the urgency it demands. Even with cities and the county making progress in expanding public transit, fossil fuel-powered vehicles are still a necessity for much of the county, the report said.
Looking at climate change mitigation plans, the report singled out the case of the county’s Climate Action Plan, which has been struck down in court three times for failing to meet carbon emission reduction goals outlined by the state’s Air Resources Board.
The solution, the CAC suggests, is a “Green New Deal” tailored to San Diego County. The concept, first proposed nationally by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, would bring sweeping changes to energy use, economic activity and public policy to achieve swift reductions in greenhouse gas emissions before the effects of climate change are unavoidable.
“Key to the effort will be ensuring the process is transparent and inclusive and centers the perspectives of communities on the front lines of climate change,” said Maleeka Marsden, the lead author of the CAC report.
CAC representatives plan to begin developing the idea later this year, meeting with local leaders and officials to lay the framework for a Green New Deal.
According to Marsden, the process will involve taking input from the county’s vulnerable communities and ensuring a smooth transition for workers who would be affected by changing energy needs.
“We are committed to creating catalytic change here in our own backyard and modeling success for the rest of the nation,” Marsden said. “We have already proven we can model success for the nation with our landmark goal to achieve 100 percent renewables by 2035. Now we can model bigger scale solutions on the path to a climate-safe future.”