A host of environmentalist groups led by the Environmental Health Coalition are pushing mayor Kevin Faulconer to back the city's draft Climate Action Plan, released in February, in a revised budget submitted to the city council on Tuesday.
The plan was developed by the Economic and Environmental Sustainability Task Force established by the city, with numerous forums for public input. The ambitious goals outlined include a 49 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2035 (a target set via executive order by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger), an energy system powered by 100 percent renewable sources, and a large push to increase public-transit use, cycling, and walking throughout the city.
"This plan has been developed through years of public input and is supported by a diverse set of stakeholders,” said task-force chair Doug Kot in an Environmental Health Coalition release.
Former interim mayor and current city-council president Todd Gloria also weighed in with his support.
"I believe San Diego can and must be a leader when it comes to addressing global climate change, and I believe the plan that was drafted will have tremendous positive benefit for our region and for the lasting sustainability of our environment," said Gloria. "Its successful implementation requires an investment by the City, which I hope our mayor includes in his revised budget proposal."
Updated 5/28, 8:10 a.m.
Faulconer's revised budget includes $200,000 to hire a "sustainability program manager" who would oversee the climate plan's implementation in addition to addressing other "green" issues in the city, such as a proposed ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. No funding is specifically directed toward the climate plan.
"We have yet to see the plan be embraced by Mayor Faulconer," says coalition policy advocate Kayla Race. "While funding the sustainability manager could be a positive step in the right direction, we're hoping that it's not a distraction from taking real action."
The mayor was scheduled to formally present his proposed budget revisions to the council today, May 28, with a final vote on the budget to occur sometime next month.