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LET’S GET IT DONE! The City of San Diego Must Fund Climate Action

On April 14, Mayor Todd Gloria released his proposed budget for the 2024 fiscal year, calling it the “Getting it Done” budget. Unfortunately, to the disappointment of many local climate and equity activists, the proposed budget falls short of providing crucial funding for key Climate Action Plan (CAP) items that are necessary to create sustainable and healthier communities. In total, unfunded departmental requests related to the CAP add up to $94.1 million dollars. Below are the two key items that need to be funded ASAP:

I. Key Staffing to Prioritize Actions to DecarbonizeOur Homes and Buildings

One key unfunded request is funding for a Program Manager to lead the Building Decarbonization Roadmap (BDR), which is the City’s outreach strategy to transition existing buildings to all-electric systems. Currently, the majority of buildings and homes in San Diego are powered by dangerous natural gas, threatening the health and well-being of our communities. 20% of San Diego’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from people burning natural gas in buildings.

Transitioning existing buildings to all-electric, clean energy through retrofitting is a vital step in protecting the health of San Diegans and improving the quality of our communities and climate. By eliminating toxic greenhouse gas emissions, we can ensure a safer and healthier environment for everyone. However, for these efforts to succeed, San Diegans must be actively involved, and transparent, detailed plans, along with community engagement, are essential. However, Without substantial funding, retrofitting homes and buildings to transition to all-electric, clean energy cannot become a reality.

The Sustainability & Mobility Department identified the hiring of a program manager as a priority, indicating that a lack of a manager with hinder meeting CAP goals. Furthermore, the Building Decarbonization Roadmap and its associated actions received one of the highest scores under the new Council Policy adopted by City Council in April, which is meant to help Council prioritize the implementation of CAP actions.

II. Safer Mobility Options in Our Neighborhoods

Another key unfunded item is the completion of the Mobility Master Plan (MMP), a roadmap to equitable and sustainable transportation, and a foundational benchmark within the CAP’s Implementation Plan. Without dedicated funding the City will not be successful in meeting its legally mandated 2030 and 2035 mode shift targets that are necessary to reach zero carbon emissions.

In addition to the MMP, the Bicycle Master Plan has also been excluded from the FY 2024 budget. This plan has not been updated since 2013 when protected and separated bikeways were not used. Making cycling a more practical and convenient transportation option for San Diegans is key to achieving the CAP’s 2030 and 2035 GHG reduction and mobility goals. The City should fund and complete an updated bicycle master plan to ensure safe and enjoyable routes for cyclists and prevent accidents and death.

📣 Tell the City Council directly what you want prioritized in the budget on Wednesday, May 10th at 6:00 PM. Raise your voice to advocate for a budget that puts you and your family first by using our toolkit! 📣

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