FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Climate Action Campaign Demands More Funds in Budget for Climate Action Plan Implementation

May 16, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Nicole Borunda, Climate Action Campaign, (619) 610-8564, nborunda@climateactioncampaign.org

Climate Action Campaign Demands More Funds in Budget for Climate Action Plan Implementation

City of San Diego Budget Fails to Address CAP Implementation: Impossible to Reach Legally Binding Targets

The Mayor’s proposed budget demonstrates a troubling lack of commitment to implement the City of San Diego’s legally binding commitments of the Climate Action Plan.

“We’re deeply concerned that the city is not on a path to hit its 2020 and 2035 greenhouse gas reduction targets,” says Climate Action Campaign Policy Advocate Sophie Wolfram. “We’re asking the Mayor and Council to increase the budget for CAP implementation to ensure that we meet our commitments to San Diego families and that we are on track to protect our public health and quality of life.”

The city would allocate just 0.5% of the General Fund budget to a plan that is supposed to transition us to 100% clean energy, zero waste, and 50% of commuters walking, biking, or taking transit, all by 2035. The community deserves to know that the city is serious about implementing this plan. The Climate Action was adopted in 2015 to address the threat of climate change by cutting the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035.

To that end, we have called for both significant investment in CAP implementation in FY 2018 and a policy roadmap for implementation moving forward.

For this year’s budget to make progress toward CAP targets, funding increases are necessary, including:

  1. Funds for the next phase of development of a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program to keep us on the path toward 100% clean energy. CCE is a program that would allow the city to purchase energy for San Diego families. It is the single most powerful tool we have to reduce our city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, that funding is absent in the proposed budget.
  2. Fulfillment of promises made in the last fiscal year to implement the Downtown Mobility Plan and the highest priority bike lanes, identified by the Bicycle Advisory Committee, as well as installation of counters to collect ridership data.
  3. Preservation of funding for shade tree pruning, which is essential to maintaining the health of our existing tree canopy; allocation of funds to expand the canopy; and an increase in staffing capacity to implement the Phase 1 actions outlined in the Five-Year Urban Forest Management Plan, adopted this January.

Looking beyond this year, we need a Five-Year Implementation Plan, which will act as a roadmap outlining the policy steps and the associated costs necessary to meet our 2020 and 2035 targets. The Independent Budget Analyst should prepare that document within 6 months. The Implementation Plan will both lend guidance to the City Council and allow the public to track the city’s progress and participate meaningfully in public processes related to the CAP.

The community is going to keep asking questions about how San Diego is going to reach our 2020 and 2035 targets, and the city needs to show that it will do the work to put the climate plan in action. That starts with funding the plan sufficiently this year and building a detailed and comprehensive roadmap to meet our goals going forward.

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Climate Action Campaign is a climate watchdog organization with a simple mission: to stop climate change and protect our quality of life. For more information, please visit www.climateactioncampaign.org

Download this press release here.

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