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San Diego Launches New Working Group To Address Climate Change

Councilman David Alvarez announced Thursday the formation and composition of a working group that will help the city of San Diego implement the provisions of its plan to address climate change.

The 17 members represent various "stakeholder" groups, including City Council members, builders, labor, business, the disposal industry and transportation planning.

"We worked closely with the mayor's office to structure the group in a way that will be useful both to this committee and to the work that city staff is conducting," Alvarez said as he opened a meeting of the council's environment committee.


He said the group will work with the mayor's office and staff to evaluate the resources given to implementation of the plan, and advise the committee on how to measure success.

Members will also have a coordinating role, as several boards and council committees work in areas that touch part of the plan that was approved two months ago.

Alvarez said he will chair the committee, with Councilman Scott Sherman serving as vice chair.

Other members include land use consultant Marcela Escobar Eck; Matthew Adams of the Building Industry Association; Rob Anderson of San Diego Gas & Electric; Climate Action Campaign Executive Director Nicole Capretz; Environmental Health Coalition Executive Director Diane Takvorian; Micah Mitrosky of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; land use planner Howard Blackson; Sean Karafin of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; Steve South of EDCO Disposal; Colin Parent of Circulate San Diego; water use and utility management consultant Marsi Steirer; and obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Bruce Bekkar.

Three positions — for a business advocate, sustainable energy expert and climate researcher — remain unfilled.


Alvarez said the group's initial meeting will be next month. The mayor's office is scheduled to release an implementation plan in April.

Among other things, the climate action plan establishes a goal of reducing emission levels by 20 percent in 2020 and by half in 2035, using levels recorded in San Diego in 2010 as the baseline.

The plan, passed unanimously by the council, also envisions a mix of regulatory mandates and incentives that would encourage construction of energy and water efficient buildings; the city facilitating the installation of local renewable energy projects; land use decisions that promote walking, bicycling and use of mass transit; reducing waste; and creating programs and policies that will allow the city to respond to the impacts of climate change.