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San Diego Officials Outline $130M Budget For Climate Action Plan

Photo caption: This undated photo shows solar panels on a San Diego affordable housing devel...

Photo credit: Community Housing Works

This undated photo shows solar panels on a San Diego affordable housing development.

San Diego Officials Outline $130M Budget For Climate Action Plan

GUEST:

Cody Hooven, sustainability manager, City of San Diego

Transcript

Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Monday called for more bike lanes, solar power, natural gas garbage trucks and smart streetlights as part of San Diego's Climate Action Plan.

Faulconer will dedicate $127 million from the upcoming budget to the initiative.

Much of the other funding outlined by the mayor for the Climate Action Plan would have been in the mayor's fiscal 2017 budget anyway, but he's now grouping it together to devote to the plan, said Cody Hooven, the sustainability manager for the city of San Diego.

For example, about $65 million will go to the city's water recycling program, but Hooven said that funding would have been in the mayor's budget even without the plan. She said the pure water program "indirectly" supports the Climate Action Plan's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035.

Hooven said the mayor called the funding "new" because the dollars aren't part of the base budget.

"It's additional money that we're expending this year and going forward," she said. "As we go forward and track our progress, this will be a good baseline to compare to and say, 'where are we meeting our goals, where do we need to do more?'"

Hooven said there is not an estimate now of how much the Climate Action Plan will cost the city going forward, but said many of the programs are investments that will save money in the future.

She said the next step is to see what the city is doing now in terms of saving energy and water.

"It's almost like being on a diet program and you haven't stepped on the scale in awhile," she said.

Under the plan the City Council unanimously approved last year, San Diego will have to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half and hit a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

"This plan provides the framework to create new jobs and preserve San Diego's leadership position in the clean tech sector," the mayor said in Monday's press conference. "We will improve public health and air quality. We will reduce San Diego's dependence on imported water."

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