Report: San Diego reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25% since 2010

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria Monday released the city’s 2020 Climate Action Plan report, which says the city has reduced 25% of its greenhouse gas emissions compared to the 2010 baseline, halfway to its goal of halving emissions by 2035.

“San Diego has taken significant steps toward meeting our Climate Action Plan goals with the implementation of San Diego Community Power and adoption of policies like Complete Communities, but we know we can and must do more,” Gloria said. “This year, we’ve seen how drastic shifts to the status quo are possible. We’re going to continue to create a cleaner, greener city for future generations and ensure that efficiency and equity are front and center.”

According to the fifth annual report, the city has reached the halfway point sooner than anticipated, but actions are still necessary to meet targets for zero waste, transportation emissions and building efficiency. The report reflects reductions achieved in 2019 and does not include impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Key findings and statistics in the report include:

— 20.3% job growth in Climate Action Plan-related sectors from 2010 to 2019, adding 24,156 new jobs throughout San Diego;

— 64 newly installed electric vehicle charging stations;

— 1,045 trees planted and more than 25,000 maintained;

— Zero-net energy projects completed at three libraries: Point Loma/Hervey, Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa and Valencia Park/Malcolm X;

— the city purchased its first electric street sweeper; and

— 19 new electric vehicles were added to support the city’s general purpose fleet.

“This annual report shows how we, as a city, are working to advance climate action in a way that gives our historically marginalized communities a seat at the table while also creating opportunities for good jobs and innovation,” said Erik Caldwell, the city’s chief sustainability officer and sustainability director. “Looking ahead, we’re updating the 2015 Climate Action Plan to create a path forward focused on equity and environmental justice to align with state goals for zero carbon by 2045 and to incorporate the additional benefits of climate action.”

San Diego is one of the largest U.S. cities to adopt a Climate Action Plan setting goals for 100% renewable energy citywide and zero waste. Alongside community partners, the city has also developed the Climate Equity Index to better understand access to opportunity in San Diego’s Communities of Concern.

As part of the city’s plans to harness renewable energy sources by 2035, San Diego Community Power plans to deliver power to its first customers in 2021.

“Every person in every community has the right to clean air, safe water, and a healthy neighborhood with open space,” said Councilman Sean Elo- Rivera. “Unfortunately, our climate is rapidly deteriorating — the result of decades of decisions that allowed for unchecked industrial activity and disastrous land-use and environmental policies.

“The Climate Action Plan is the city of San Diego’s workplan for fighting environmental degradation and protecting the communities most impaired by its effects,” he said. “Although we have made significant improvements as a city this past year, there is clearly more work to be done, especially for communities of color.”

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