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San Diego Group Out To Prove Green New Deal Is Attainable By Reaching Zero Emissions Here

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As legislators work on climate change in Washington, San Diego is working on its own version of the Green New Deal. A speaker series on it continues Thursday night.

Speaker 1: 00:00 As legislators work on climate change in Washington. San Diego is working on its own version of the green new deal. A speaker series on it continues tonight, sponsored by the San Diego climate action campaign as part of the KPBS climate change desk. Round table host, mark Sauers spoke with climate action campaign director Nicole carpets. Here's that interview.

Speaker 2: 00:22 All right. Start by reminding us please what the Democrats green new deal is and explain the San Diego version.

Speaker 1: 00:27 Yeah, well it's a comprehensive investment in what they call the three pillars, climate, jobs, and justice. So to make sure that we are building out a clean energy economy, that we are protecting current workers. So there's a just transition and we're creating middle-class jobs as we build out clean energy region wide and that we're investing first in the communities that are most impacted by climate change. They're the ones where they've been burdened by the polluting infrastructure for so long and it's time for us to put solutions into those communities first.

Speaker 2: 00:55 All right. And the San Diego version, you're going for a more regional version here than San Diego city.

Speaker 1: 01:00 Exactly. Well, our model of change is that change happens from the ground up. So we want to prove the green new deal model at a local level and then hopefully persuade more cities across the country in states that yeah, this is really the approach we want to take as we're transitioning away from fossil fuels. So we've been very active in developing climate action plans throughout our regions. So the good news is the momentum is already there and people are eager and willing to move on climate here in San Diego and we want to build on that and actually go farther to actually zero out our emissions to go carbon neutral, which no one has done in our region before. And this is going to be an enormous task, but that's exactly why we thought, hey, let's take advantage of the national conversation on green new deal. Prove the model here and let's figure out how can we get to zero carbon emissions here written to have everybody win at the same time.

Speaker 2: 01:48 All right, now let's get onto the San Diego Green new deal speaker series. What's the goal behind that?

Speaker 1: 01:53 So the speaker series is meant to augment the effort that we're already engaged in. So we already have a very organic community driven process to design and develop our local green new deal because again, change happens from the bottom up. We need as many can engage community members as we can get and decision makers. And so we've convened a number of organizing sessions and we've had incredible turnout from very diverse sectors all over our region. So they've actually gotten to the point where they're about ready to launch, you know, what would the parameters and pillars be of our San Diego renew deal. And so the speaker series is meant to just offer another opportunity for people to learn to engage and hopefully to plug into this effort because it's going to take all of us working together to get to zero emissions.

Speaker 2: 02:36 Okay. And tell us about a tonight's events specifically where, when, how do you get the tickets and the speaker?

Speaker 1: 02:42 Well, every speaker series is actually at the same place that hopefully makes it a little bit easier. It's at the city heights center and on university avenue it's going to start at five 30 and folks can just come to the door and we have a requested charge. But we, you know, again, the goal is to bring in as many people as possible to learn. And so tonight we're fortunate to have asanas. Grotta, the new executive director of SANDAG tell us about his visionary transformative outlined four radically changing transportation options in our region. So we're excited that more of the community can come and learn about what he has planned

Speaker 2: 03:17 and his themes. We'll be talking about more biking, walking, transit, get out of cars.

Speaker 1: 03:21 It's the only way that we'll ever meet, not only stay climate goals, but again, national and international climate goals is if we finally provide families in San Diego with options outside of the car.

Speaker 2: 03:32 And uh, how big a part of it is changing how we get from point a to B. I mean, this transportation is a huge part of the greenhouse,

Speaker 1: 03:39 the biggest part of the problem in California and in San Diego. So we've kind of done a lot of incredible work toward getting us to 100% renewable energy. So that has a really clear pathway forward and you know, embracing community choice. So you know, we have choice as well. But cracking the nut of housing and transportation and jobs and getting all of those three things close together is tough. You know, we're talking about changing culture, we're talking about changing the way we've traditionally done things in terms of how we move people around and how we grow because we need to grow in not out. Um, we need to grow up and frankly we need to help people re-imagine what's possible. I mean, that's what, that's what's most exciting, I think to us that we could become a world class city that offers these different options. And it's great for clean air. It's great for public health. And I think people are going to be really excited about, wait, I don't have to own a car. Wait, I could, you know, just hop on a bus or hop on a trolley or an Hassan's vision, a high speed rail train. There's going to be mobility centers, yes. That are connecting, I can pedestrian opportunities and new technologies. So it's a really exciting time and hopefully more and more the community can learn about it. And tonight is one of those great opportunities.

Speaker 2: 04:48 Well and tell us about the rest of the series. Who are the other speakers and some of their topics?

Speaker 1: 04:52 So we are going to have next month a mayor Catherine and Blake spirits anitas really dive into the question of housing and transportation and especially in kind of those coastal, more suburban communities that are resistant. And she really has been the leader in those tough communities having that hard conversation about, yeah, we're going to have to do things differently folks. But he, she has a really pragmatic approach. So she's going to be talking to us about that. We're going to have mayor Serge Medina from imperial beach. He's on the front lines of the sea level rise impacts. Uh, so he's gonna talk to us about adaptation and what does it mean as our whole coastline changes. And then we're going to have a city of San Diego Council, President, Georgette Gomez. Remind us of the need again to emphasize and prioritize social equity. That there are communities who've been on the front lines of the pollution and they deserve to not only drive the conversation forward about what the solutions to be but also benefit from the opportunities of a clean energy economy.

Speaker 2: 05:47 We just heard on mid day and interview with Congressman Scott Peters, he talks about why he's the only local democratic representative to not sign on to the national green new. He said

Speaker 1: 05:58 he's not in favor of it because it doesn't bring Republicans to the table. No actual legislation in it gets into areas not directly involved with climate change. What's your reaction to Peter's position? I mean I think we're never going to give up on him. We are creating a movement and we are getting as many members of the communities involved and you know, we want to persuade him that actually this is one of the most exciting opportunities that presents itself not only locally or regionally or even statewide, but nationally and so I think we're going to get them there. I think he's actually going to become a green, new deal champion. Maybe we just can continue to educate him about what the possibilities are and why it be missed opportunity for him. And let's be honest about where the Republicans are at. Like there, there's no legislation that's going to be able to be put forward that's going to pass.

Speaker 1: 06:42 So that's not really, I think where we want to be right now. Let's build a movement, let's like capture the excitement and the engagement of the community and give them something to dream about, to hope for, to, you know, envision success. And I feel like he can sense our excitement and energy, like what's possible that maybe he could see like this is worth, it's worth getting on this train. All right. I've been speaking with Nicole Capra, it's founder and director of the San Diego climate action campaign. Thanks Nicole. Thank you. And details about tonight's talk and the rest of the speaker series can be

Speaker 3: 07:27 [inaudible].

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.