Mayor’s Budget Un-CAPped

The City of San Diego is being watched the world over to see if we stay true to the ground-breaking targets of our Climate Action Plan. However, we can only achieve a 50% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 if we invest the necessary resources.

Unfortunately, based on the CAP budget numbers in the Mayor’s budget, CAP implementation is a mere 0.5% of the General Fund budget (just $46 million out of $1.2 billion) and that is insufficient. Worse, we do not even know if any of this funding is new funding, or just a continuation of what would have been funded prior to the adoption of the CAP.

We need a clear road map that outlines policy steps and associated budget needs that put us on the path to meeting our 2020 and 2035 targets. A 5-year implementation plan with costs will give sufficient guidance to the City Council and provide adequate transparency for a public that needs to be able to ensure the Mayor and Council keep their commitments to San Diego families. The 5-year implementation should also make clear how the city is addressing social equity in prioritizing CAP implementation steps. Finally, the city needs to articulate what their internal staff mechanism is for evaluating new projects’ impacts on our ability to meet the city’s targets, so that the Council has adequate guidance about how to make a decision about whether proposed capital projects would foster or hinder progress toward CAP goals.

We cannot stay true to our promise unless we devote the necessary resources, staff, and attention to implementing this plan. Requesting a 5-year implementation plan developed by the IBA (Independent Budget Analyst) in partnership with city departments is the first step in keeping faith to our community.