SD News: Local environmentalists favor regional Green New Deal for San Diego

March 21 – SD News – Dave Schwab reports – Local environmentalists are endorsing a San Diego Green New Deal to develop a regional vision to fight climate change and build economic sustainability.

According to an annual report card compiled by nonprofit Climate Action Campaign, San Diego had some high, and low, marks.

“There are some genuinely positive things happening addressing climate change in the City and County to get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035,” said Sophie Wolfram, CAC director of programs, who cited planned conversion to Community Choice Energy by San Diego and eight regional cities as one “bright spot.”

Wolfram warned however that “the region is not on track to hit our state and regional climate targets, and cities are still working independently of one another.”

Worse yet, according to the CAC report card, the County’s Climate Action Plan continues to focus on building sprawl development, which locks in dependence on private cars, while jeopardizing regional progress, potentially setting a dangerous state precedent.

The objective now is to “close the gap between where we are, and where we need to be,” said Wolfram. “The idea is we need a bigger, broader regional vision to fight climate change.”

A similar energy-sustainability effort was launched nationally in November by activists occupying U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. They called for a Green New Deal, the goal of which is to significantly reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, while shepherding the economy and energy sectors away from fossil fuels and toward carbon neutrality by 2030.

The City’s Climate Action Plan calls for eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions, and requiring all electricity used in the City, to be from renewable sources by 2035.

San Diego’s Green New Deal proposal followed the release of CAC’s 2018 climate report card.

A San Diego Green New Deal would be a regionally scaled version of the proposed national initiative uniting all the region’s cities and public agencies to cooperate in implementing climate solutions necessary to stop the worst impacts of climate change while building prosperity, creating middle-class jobs and tackling income inequality.

“We are committed to creating catalytic change here in our own backyard and modeling success for the rest of the nation,” said Maleeka Marsden, CAC report card lead author. “We have already proven we can model success for the nation with our landmark goal to achieve 100 percent renewables by 2035. Now we can model bigger-scale solutions on the path to a climate-safe future.”

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