Climate Change - Municipal Action on Climate Change
photo: San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy
How are we doing?
Since the 2011 Dashboard was published, all jurisdictions have completed baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventories. In addition, many municipalities have joined together to prepare an adaption plan to address sealevel rise. The region and jurisdictions would benefit from regular inventory updates and a commitment to implementation and evaluation of climate action plans. One promising development is the creation of a tool by USD’s Energy Policy Initiative Center which will assist cities in planning to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. More information at: www.sandiego.edu/epic
Why is it important?
- According to the San Diego based Climate Education Partners, 85 percent of residents of San Diego County believe climate change is happening, and over 60 percent believe it is caused mostly by human activities. The majority of residents are concerned about the impact of climate change on them personally.
- Climate change could threaten San Diego’s quality of life by causing longer and more frequent droughts, reducing water supplies, increasing the risk of wildfires and causing the loss of coastal lands and beaches.
- Statewide targets require our region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will result in improved air quality & public health, as well as energy savings.
What is the measure?
Local government progress on climate mitigation and adaptation.
Ideas for Change
In addition to options suggested under Water Consumption, Energy, Transportation, and other related indicators, the following actions will help reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of the region:
- Support installation of low-carbon fuelling infrastructure and electric vehicle charging stations, and increase use of alternative fuel and electronic vehicles in municipal vehicle fleets.
- Consider establishing regional zero net energy building standards, expedited permitting, or the creation of “High Performance Building Districts” like Seattle’s, which help building owners and developers find innovative financing, share tools and best practices, and create joint educational opportunities to decrease their buildings' energy consumption and operating expenses.
- Integrate the life-cycle costs of energy, water, and GHGs in supply-chain purchasing guidelines.
- Use provisions in the recently passed “Cap and Trade” climate change legislation to package regional GHG emissions reductions implemented by businesses, citizens and governments into marketable GHG reduction credits that can be sold in the market to benefit both the environment and our economy.
- Incorporate existing data on projected climate change impacts into local plan updates or climate action plans to ensure our communities’ health, environment, and economy are more resilient to the likely changes in our region.
- In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Airport Authority entered into a unique public-private partnership with the California Center for Sustainable Energy, Mossy Toyota, taxi operators and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to bring the first green taxis to San Diego International Airport and the region. The Green Taxi Program provides incentives to taxi companies to switch to cleaner, more fuel-efficient taxis. More than 30 percent of the airport's taxi fleet has now switched to hybrids, saving taxi operators over $12,000 a year in fuel costs and providing a 64 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over a typical taxi model. The Airport is also committed to converting all airport taxis and shuttles to electric or clean-burning alternative fuels by 2017.