San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer released a report on how the City will implement the first year of its Climate Action Plan. The report details expenditures of nearly $130 million to reduce green house gas emissions through a series of actions focused on transportation, housing, energy, and water. Circulate's Executive Director Jim Stone spoke at the press conference, stating "The Climate Action Plan not only sets a course for San Diego, it serves as an example for cities around the nation. The Mayor's proposal today is a welcomed down payment on a robust implementation to demonstrate our City's continued leadership to protect our climate and our quality of life."
The full Climate Action Plan Implementation Report can be found on the City's website. The implementation report drew praise from City Council President Sherry Lightner, former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, and Cleantech CEO Jason Anderson. San Diego's Climate Action Plan has been cited around the country as a model that other cities should follow.
A full transcript of Stone's remarks appears below:
I’d like to thank Mayor Faulconer for inviting us to participate in today’s press conference. Circulate San Diego is a nonprofit organization that focuses on promoting viable transportation options and sustainable land uses. These two issues, transportation and land use, are at the heart of addressing climate change in our region.
An editor at the Hartford Courant once wrote that, “everybody talks about the weather but nobody seems to do anything about it.”
These days, a lot of people confuse weather with climate. We may not be able to do anything about the weather, but it’s imperative that we do something about the climate to avoid disruptive economic, environmental, and health impacts.
We are excited to see that San Diego’s Climate Action Plan encourages a variety of transportation modes by adding 50 miles of new or improved bike lanes and finalizes implementation of the Bike Master Plan. We are also pleased to see the City’s desire to align the Climate Action Plan with its “Vision Zero” goals, which will have the added benefit of reducing serious crashes and saving lives.
This implementation plan is just the first step in what promises to be one of the most important long term programs the City has ever pursued. Whether using the latest technology to minimize traffic congestion or implementing the Downtown Mobility Plan, the Climate Action Plan will benefit all San Diegans.
But we especially applaud the City for focusing on underserved communities where environmental and economic impacts are greatest.
We also welcome the focus on transit priority areas. The City has set some very impressive goals for walking, biking, and transit ridership. Adding safer bike lanes and new sidewalks is critically important to achieve these goals. However, we also urge the City to do everything in its power to encourage transit oriented development so that more people have convenient access to public transportation.
The Climate Action Plan not only sets a course for San Diego, it serves as an example for cities around the nation. The Mayor's proposal today is a welcomed down payment on a robust implementation to demonstrate our City's continued leadership to protect our climate and our quality of life.