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Roundtable: California And Climate Change

Roundtable: California And Climate Change
Roundtable: California And Climate Change
Roundtable: California and Climate Change PANEL: Erik Anderson, environment reporter, KPBS News Andrew Bowen, metro reporter, KPBS News Joshua Emerson Smith, environment reporter, The San Diego Union-Tribune Alison St John, North County reporter, KPBS News

The environmental impacts we’re already seeing

The latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows global temperatures could rise 3 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. There is debate on how quickly the planet is changing, but the vast majority of scientists acknowledge the threat is growing. Changing weather patterns are already contributing to longer droughts, more destructive wildfires and storms, and rising sea levels.

RELATED: San Diego Scientists Say Extreme Events Caused By Climate Change Could Spur Action

Challenges ahead for local communities

Confronting climate change will require local communities to find solutions for affordable housing, transportation, population density and public safety. The city of San Diego has an ambitious climate action plan that calls for 100-percent clean energy by 2035. In other coastal communities, there is pushback to the idea of the need to relocate expensive beachfront property. In San Diego County’s backcountry, homebuilders are pushing to develop fire-prone areas.

RELATED: Wildfire Fatalities Spark Fears About Recent Land Use Decisions In San Diego

California’s leadership on climate change

With the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, California has elevated its role in the global discussion about climate change. World leaders recently assembled in San Francisco to showcase some of the progress being made and the challenges that remain. The state’s approach is in contrast to President Donald Trump, who says his skepticism of climate change has not changed despite recent wildfires and other disasters.

RELATED: California Meets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal Years Early