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San Diego Takes Huge Step Toward Regional Collaboration and Climate Funding

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Last Friday, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) set a new standard for local climate action by announcing its commitment to creating a Regional Climate Readiness Table. This groundbreaking initiative fosters partnerships between local governments, private businesses, frontline communities, and community-based organizations, all united by a common purpose—prioritizing regional climate resilience projects that can attract large-scale funding opportunities.


SANDAG announced that it secured a grant from the EPA that will be used to fund a regional Climate Action Plan (CAP) and Regional Climate Readiness Table as part of its regional plan. These initiatives ensure that we’re tackling climate change as a region to give San Diegans the clean, safe, affordable, and accessible communities resilient to climate impacts they deserve. This looks like:


Previous efforts by our cities to make this a reality have often fallen short due to their siloed approach to addressing climate impacts. Working on an individual scale has limited the effectiveness of our policies. As climate impacts, like air pollution and extreme heat, cross our jurisdictional boundaries, it only makes sense that our policies should cross jurisdictional boundaries.


For example, the City of San Diego Independent Budget Analyst's review of the FY 2024 proposed budget showed that unfunded CAP requests totaled $94.1 million. The City has yet to publicly share the current funding resources they’ve received to close this gap.


While an issue for the City of San Diego, this is an even larger issue for smaller, under-resourced cities. In 2021, CAC worked with Assemblymember Chris Ward to introduce legislation aimed at creating a regional climate table. It did not pass. Since then, CAC has been at the forefront of this fight, advocating for regional collaboration between our cities.


The state and federal governments have dedicated a historic surplus of funding for climate action, and SANDAG’s commitments put San Diego on the verge of securing these historic resources. The federal government has made it clear: communities must embrace regional collaboration for climate action or be left behind. SANDAG’s commitments position San Diego to compete successfully for these unprecedented state and federal climate funds.


With the Regional Climate Readiness Table, SANDAG can provide a tangible means for San Diego to secure vital funding, empower residents, and create real, meaningful change in our communities.






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