For Immediate Release: 2017 Climate Action Plan Report Card Released

February 6, 2018

Sophie Wolfram
Director of Programs
(914) 715-2451

2017 Climate Action Plan Report Card Released
Commitment to Action Trending Up; Progress on Implementation Needs Improvement

SAN DIEGO, February 6, 2018—Today, Climate Action Campaign unveiled the second edition of their annual Climate Action Plan (CAP) Report Card, which evaluates the climate planning efforts of all 18 cities in San Diego and the County.  For the first time this year, the report grades on both the commitments and the actual progress toward meeting those goals.

CAPs are long-term planning documents that identify the roadmap for cities to reduce their carbon footprints by at least 40% to meet state GHG-reduction goals through 2030. The purpose of the Report Card is to offer residents, community leaders, advocates, elected officials and city staff a tool to help ensure cities are keeping up with cutting edge solutions and doing what it takes to protect our quality of life, as well as learning best practices from other cities.

Scores for Climate Action Commitments: Upward Trend

Regionwide, eight Climate Action Plans were evaluated for their overall climate goals and commitments this year. Ten cities still have not finalized their Climate Action Plans, and one city, Poway, has not made any commitment to developing a Climate Action Plan.

Climate plans are graded based on the strength of their commitments in the following areas: 100% clean energy, Community Choice Energy, bike/walk/transit near housing, zero waste, urban tree canopy, and social equity.  Overall, the region is headed in the right direction, with a nationwide record-high of six cities committed to 100% clean energy with Community Choice Energy. While not graded, the San Diego Unified School District also committed to 100% clean energy with Community Choice.

The big winner is the city of Encinitas, which joins the coveted Gold-Standard club started by the city of San Diego, with Solana Beach right behind with a Silver award. Both cities received high marks for their commitment to 100% clean energy with Community Choice Energy.  Encinitas made further commitments to transit and equity.

Encinitas Councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, on receiving the gold-standard grade, remarked, “This Report Card had a direct impact in improving our Climate Action Plan from a silver to a gold-standard CAP. Our Mayor and Council unanimously implemented their recommendations to improve the CAP and our score went up. We are now proud to be only one of two gold-standard CAPs in San Diego County.”

Scores for Climate Action Progress: Needs Improvement

While commitments to action are great; actual improvements on the ground are better. To assess progress, five cities’ climate plan implementation efforts were graded. Unfortunately, there were no gold or silver awards. Two bronze designations were awarded to the cities of San Diego and Carlsbad. The other cities analyzed — Del Mar, National City, and San Marcos — scored below the medal threshold, although Del Mar is on track to score higher next year.

The city of San Diego received a bronze because they are way behind on their commitments to change the way people commute to work, and they have not meaningfully integrated social equity into climate solutions and strategies.  

Georgette Gómez, Chair of MTS and City of San Diego Councilmember, vowed to help improve the city of San Diego’s score next year: “With our Climate Action Plan, we made a commitment to our families that we must fulfill. I want to ensure that communities hardest hit by climate change are first in line to receive the benefits that come with prioritizing alternative forms of transit, higher density in transit corridors, and a choice when it comes to their energy use. I look forward to advocating for a better quality of life at the City and in my role as Chair of MTS until the City of San Diego gets that gold-standard score.”

Similarly, the report card finds that all of the cities in our region are lagging in meaningful social equity and transportation strategies. Emissions from transportation are rising, so urgent and immediate action is needed.

With 10 CAPs yet to be finalized but currently in development across the region, the report urges a departure from business as usual.

Sophie Wolfram, lead author from Climate Action Campaign, says, “the climate crisis is accelerating at a pace none of us are prepared to manage. Our Report Card reveals that our region appears ready to promise a clean energy future with bikeable, walkable and transit-friendly communities that benefit all, but has still not developed the political will to ensure it actually happens. With this report card, we hope we can inspire all cities and the county to insist on becoming a region of gold-standard climate solutions that will protect our quality of life for generations to come.”  

Read the full Report Card here:

Here’s what community leaders are saying:

“The City of Encinitas is proud to have earned the honor of having a gold-standard CAP.  We appreciate the support and input Climate Action Campaign provided during our CAP update process.  I’m looking forward to implementation!” Crystal Najera, Climate Action Plan Administrator, City of Encinitas


“The CAC Report Card plays a valuable role in helping us better understand how the City of San Diego is or is not successfully implementing the Climate Action Plan.  The Report Card helps inform our organizing and advocacy work to ensure City Heights residents have access to the good outcomes the CAP promises such as better transit services, protected bikeways, safe streets and affordable housing near transit.” Randy Van Vleck, Active Transportation Manager, City Heights CDC


“Our grassroots climate advocacy group in Vista used the report card as a tool to help our city become a gold-standard CAP.” –Lisa Wellens, Community Activist, V-CAP (Vista Climate Planners)


“We are 100% ready for a 100% clean energy future, and this report card helps ensure the cities in San Diego County not only commit to that goal, but also stay on track to accelerate its success.  We appreciate and congratulate CAC for releasing this comprehensive analysis to help us all create a healthy quality of life for generations to come.” –Daniel Sullivan, Founder and President of Sullivan Solar Power


Climate Action Campaign is the region’s leading climate watchdog organization with a simple mission: stop climate change and protect our quality of life with 100% clean energy. For more information, please visit

Download this press release here.