San Diego Climate Leaders Weigh In On Biden's Climate Plan
Speaker 1: 00:00 Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president this week. And this new administration means a new approach to the existential threat of climate change, a threat, the new president calls the greatest challenge facing our nation and the world. His plan connects the environment with the economy. It calls for a 100% clean economy and net zero emissions by 2050 infrastructure investments in transportation and energy protection and distribution rallying the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change, taking action against fossil fuel companies and other major polluters who disproportionately harm, low income communities and help for workers transitioning to new clean industries as part of coverage from the KPBS climate change desk. We checked in with a number of San Diego leaders and experts on the environment and clean energy for their reactions to the incoming president's plan. David Victor is a professor of industrial organization at UC San Diego and co-leader of [inaudible] deep decarbonation initiative. He says getting the United States back into the Paris climate agreement is a critical first step. I think Speaker 2: 01:10 Important to keep in mind that climate change ultimately is a global problem that the us is 15% or so of global emissions, and we'll be shrinking as our policies become more effective. Uh, and so we have to find ways of working with other countries that means starting with the allies, starting with Europe, starting with the UK government, which is hosting the next big climate change conference in November in Glasgow. It also means working with Brazil, uh, where the president has, frankly not been supportive of climate change policies. It means working, uh, first and foremost, with China, the world's largest, uh, emitter and in the run-up to the Paris agreement, uh, not so long ago, it was the ability of the United States and China to work together. They really framed what was possible in Paris. And now the Chinese us relationship is much more fraught with a lot more pressure and tension inside that relationship. And so this is going to be a foreign policy problem in addition to a national policy issue. And I think it's interesting that he's assigned John Kerry to lead on the foreign policy side around climate change because John Kerry is somebody knows this issue extremely well. And in particular, uh, knows how to develop the right relationships, uh, between the United States and China. Speaker 1: 02:20 Next up is Nicole Cafritz. She is founder and executive director of climate action campaign, a San Diego nonprofit that has helped to get eight local 100% clean energy climate action plans passed, including the city of San Diego's plan. Cafritz emphasizes the urgency of the crisis. Speaker 3: 02:38 President elect Biden has set this ambitious target of getting to net zero carbon by 2050 and well, that's a great first step. And it's certainly a departure from where we've been, uh, the last four years. Uh, we're probably going to push for a more ambitious target, um, and timeline of 2040 or 2035. And certainly we intend do that. The local level, hopefully model what that can look like. But clearly this is progress and we're excited to work with the president elect and his cabinet, and everybody else to make real change happen. Speaker 1: 03:11 Rom Ramanathan is a professor of climate and atmospheric sciences at Scripps institution of oceanography. He explained what he likes about Joe Biden's climate plan. Speaker 4: 03:21 The most important thing is he has recognized the investment it's going to need. I think he has committed to, uh, trillions of dollars over the next five, 10 years. So that the first thing we need to recognize we can't fool ourselves thinking it's just going to happen. No, it's not going to happen. It requires top-down policies, top-down investment. So that from the bottom up the industries, the private donors, privacy investors will join in. We need both. We need the top down action. We need that investment. And then be near bottom up a movement all the way. Starting from our kids in schools, urging the adults to take action involvement by private foundations involvement by industries involvement by investors, all that's needed because we have delayed taking actions. So, so long Speaker 1: 04:21 Terra Lawson reamer, a Democrat is a newly elected San Diego County supervisor Lawson Riemer emphasizes the Biden plans investment in reshaping, the green economy and transforming millions of jobs. Speaker 3: 04:33 Fundamentally, the plan is focused on the kind of investments that we need to tackle this climate crisis. And those investments are going to in their very nature shift, our economy from an old economy, that's been dependent on fossil fuels to a new economy that is in its very, very core, um, dependent on renewable energy to, to power us, um, you know, for, for the next generation. Speaker 1: 04:58 Those were comments by various San Diego leaders and experts on the ambitious plans by incoming president Biden to address climate change. Speaker 3: 05:06 Mm.