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San Diego City Council votes on revised Climate Action Plan

The San Diego City Council is poised to approve the first major revision of its Climate Action Plan (CAP) since the first one was adopted in 2015.

The update has been in the works since 2020, although the coronavirus pandemic kept the planning document from being ready earlier.

If adopted, San Diego will work to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

The original document projected that the city could cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by then. The revision goes even further, calling for the city to reach a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Moriah Saldaña, the program manager for San Diego’s CAP, said the revision not only changed the goals, but the plan would also have an action component.

"Two hundred-plus actions that we’ll have to work with implementing with departments on securing that path to net-zero," Saldaña said.

City officials crafted the CAP revision after talking to more than 4,000 city residents.

“Basically, we’re looking at all the different sectors for how greenhouse gases are produced,” Saldaña said. “And then we’re finding ways to reduce those emissions.”

The resulting document, which was approved unanimously by the City Council’s Environment Committee, aims to make San Diego a more sustainable city.

It is widely expected to be adopted by the City Council.

Neighborhood advocates are generally pleased with the extra rigor in the plan, but they say even more could be done.

“We feel like there are some changes that can be made before that final vote,” said Kyle Heiskala of the Environmental Health Coalition . “But, yes, we are supportive of the Climate Action Plan, and I think it’s going to do a lot for the neighborhoods in San Diego in order to address climate change impacts.”

Heiskala said the plan’s focus on clean air was a plus, and he appreciate the attention paid to underserved communities such as San Ysidro, Barrio Logan and City Heights.

“It’s a great effort to measure the inequity that exists in our city,” Heiskala said. “But what’s missing is funding, and equity without funding is an empty promise.”

City officials say the CAP is not a finished document. It can be adjusted as the city’s needs and capabilities change.

The next scheduled revision is set to happen in 2027.

San Diego City Council votes on revised Climate Action Plan