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

This undated photo shows solar panels on a San Diego affordable housing development.
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
San Diego Officials Outline $130M Budget For Climate Action Plan GUEST:Cody Hooven, sustainability manager, City of San Diego

Are top story in midday edition San Diego's climate action goals include cutting greenhouse gases in half and using 100% renewable energy by 2035. Will become a model for cities across the nation. But the unanswered question has been, how do we get there? Mayor Kevin Faulconer offered a first answer yesterday with the announcement of his climate action implementation planning Joining me is Cody Hooven, chief sustainability manager of San Diego's sustainability department. Thank you the mayor says as many and $30 million in his proposed 317 budget that goes toward climate action goals, can you give us a an idea of the types of programs been funded. That money is actually at an $27 million, that is all new funding for this fiscal year. That funding is going to go towards all sorts of things, from installing solar panels in city facilities increasing our own energy efficiency, funding are pure water system which is turning recycled water back into drinking water, installing new streetlights, changing out streetlights to be more efficient, purchasing trucks, recycle trucks that can run on gas coming out of landfills, all sorts of things that will improve efficiency and make us more's is winnable. The largest single expenditure associated with this plan is for pure water is that right? Yes that is a very large piece of funding. That is about $65 million going for is that. How does for what it is to greenhouse gas reduction. That is an indirect support for the Climate Action Plan there's a lot of direct action that supports reducing the carbon footprint. There are other very important pieces like the water and like addressing stormwater that support us being prepared for changes in our climate. So, drought has been an issue that we have all been experiencing is only anticipated to increase so pure water really supports is the more resilient with their own water supply. Was in poor water gonna be in the mayor's plan anyway outside of the Climate Action Plan? That is right. The family new money dedicated to diamond action. It's just supporting the goals.Be more resilient to changing the environment. It seems that most of the funds announced yesterday are sort of cobbled together from programs that are already underway is about right # That is right. Line And why is it called a new money towards the Climate Action Plan. Line The dollars we talk about is new funding for fiscal year 2017 so it is not the base budget is existing funds, it is additional money that we're spending this year and going forward. It is really setting a baseline for us of understanding what we're spending in the initiative. As a go forward and track the progress this will be a good baseline for us to compare two and say where we meeting our goals, where do we need to do more, this is a piece of the puzzle for us. This is new money that would have been in the mayor's 2017 budget but it would have been under different items and now it is all part of the Climate Action Plan proposal. That is correct. It is a set of ID of where we spend money in the action plan and how it will help achieve goals. Male partner called the spending plan a down payment that is Ernie estimate of how much the Climate Action Plan will cost the city in the next 5 to 10 years? Ransack we do not know the dollar amount -- we don't know the dollar amount directly but for saving energy in the pure water program it is an investment that we are making because if we don't do some of these things now it will cost us a whole lot more later. We are looking at cost-benefit analysis to say are these good investments for as is the city and we are finding that they are. As you looked on the rolled are there new plans for developing new revenue streams but the one proposed by San Diego the have tax sales increase. There are a lot of things in the table. Interesting financing, we're looking at all sorts of tools. For the implementation plan that includes developing ways to evaluate progress, how will you begin to determine if we are meeting the goals? That's the next up for me looking at progress for we have done a baseline in 2010, use all of the data for 2010 and determine what the footprint was in the next up is to say that we have been working on this for a bit let's reevaluate, it's almost like you are on a weight loss program and you have not stepped on the scale in a while so that is what we need to do. We want to see our progress that is what I'm working on gathering metrics on water, waste, how much people are biking and walking and things like that make is is a better perspective in combination with the money in the baseline. I would imagine if people want to see the full climate change implementation plan they can go on the city's website? Sign Yes they can. I've been's speaking with Cody Hooven, the sustainability manager of San Diego's economic development program.

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."