December 30, 2015
Raising the bar for municipalities across the country, San Diego has adopted one of the nation’s most ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions. The city’s document goes further than the historic climate change deal forged by world leaders gathered in Paris: It creates legally binding mandates for reducing levels of greenhouse gases, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
On December 15, 2015 the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the so-called Climate Action Plan, which requires annual emissions be cut in half during the next two decades based heavily on a strategy to use 100% renewable energy within that timeline. If the city doesn’t follow through on its promise to fight climate change, environmental groups and even the state attorney general could file lawsuits to force elected officials to comply.
Several environmental advocates warned at the December 15th meeting that they were ready to use legal action if necessary. “Obviously, we aren’t going anywhere. We’re just getting started,” said Nicole Capretz, executive director of the Climate Action Campaign. “The 100% [renewable energy] goal is a mandate,” she added. “It’s not a dream. It’s not a wish or an aspiration. It’s a legal commitment.”
The plan aims to satisfy state mandates for reducing greenhouse gases that have been rolled out during the last decade, including a requirement to cut emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
To make sure San Diego stays on track to hit its emissions targets, yearly monitoring reports prepared by city staff in collaboration with consultants will measure the impacts of each strategy laid out in the plan.
Upcoming targets include: boosting the urban tree canopy by 15% by 2020 and 35% by 2035; recycling or composting 75% of all solid waste by 2020 and 90% by 2035; and cutting car trips in key transportation areas by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2035.
The most controversial decision could be whether to implement community choice aggregation, or CCA, a program that would take control away from the local electric utility when deciding how much renewable energy a city uses.
What this means to you
San Diego has adopted one of the nation’s most ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions. The city’s document creates legally binding mandates for reducing levels of greenhouse gases.
MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH to learn about stationary engine emission solutions for California.