GLASGOW, Scotland (KGTV) — This week, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria is in Glasgow, Scotland, where representatives from hundreds of countries are discussing ways to fight the climate crisis. Gloria said he is proud of San Diegans, who continue to play a proactive role in protecting the planet.
"I think the biggest thing that I have learned is that we are not alone," Gloria said.
The last few days in Scotland have been a life-changing experience for Mayor Gloria, as he brought San Diego to the global stage at COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
"After speaking with mayors from cities as far-flung as Edinburgh and London, and Austin, Texas and elsewhere, you see a shared commitment, and that really gives me hope that we can do something to stop the worst effects of the climate crisis," Gloria said.
Around one hundred nations pledged to cut down methane emissions by 30% and eradicate deforestation by 2030. Gloria also signed the City of San Diego up for "Cities Race to Zero," an alliance of cities with the goal of getting to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
But San Diego's net-zero emissions goal is 2035, fifteen years earlier than the others. It is the key point in the newly released draft of the city's "Our Climate, Our Future" Climate Action Plan.
"When San Diego leads, people follow us," Gloria said proudly. "While there may have been a hiatus at the federal level, cities like San Diego have continued to do the work to lead on climate. Whether it's our Climate Action Plan, the introduction of electric buses, construction of protected bike ways, San Diegans have seen this in our daily life.
At the United States Pavilion, Gloria participated in several panels, sharing San Diego's aggressive goals to combat global warming. He said thinking locally but acting globally will help Mother Earth prosper.
"We are fostering these relationships to make sure that when they consider, 'Who is doing the global leadership on this stuff?' San Diego is," Gloria said. "The net beneficiaries will be San Diegans who will have access to better jobs, better research opportunities, and a better quality of life that will be here for many generations to come."
Mayor Gloria flies back to San Diego on Friday and plans to share more of his experiences in Glasgow next week.