San Diego ahead of schedule in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Posted at 12:19 PM, Oct 25, 2017

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego remains ahead of schedule in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a key part of a plan to address climate change, city officials announced today.

Emissions have been cut by 19.3 percent from a 2010 baseline, more than a 15 percent target for 2020 set in the plan -- adopted by the City Council nearly two years ago.

The ultimate goal is to cut such emissions by half by 2035. The climate plan established policies in a variety of areas, set goals compared to the baseline and fixed target years for when to meet them.

"It's been less than two years since we passed a landmark Climate Action Plan that won accolades from around the globe," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a news conference to release a progress report. "Now the results are starting to roll in and we're seeing significant progress in our push to slash greenhouse gas emissions," Faulconer said.

"We continue to be ahead of schedule on our ambitious goals which means the actions we're taking are making a difference -- and that San Diegans are doing their part to leave a cleaner and more sustainable city than the one we inherited."

The greenhouse gas reduction was attributed in large part to improved fuel efficiency in vehicles, expanded use of renewable energy sources and increased amounts of reused or recycled trash.

The report also found, when compared to the baseline:

  • An 18 percent reduction in residential energy use
  • A 13 percent reduction in daily per capita water use
  • A 5 percent reduction in municipal energy use
  • A 43 percent use of renewable electricity citywide

City officials said they have also improved 12,000 linear feet of sidewalks to encourage walking, and acquired 90 zero emissions vehicles and 45 hybrids for the municipal fleet.

The report also said the number of jobs related to sustainability grew 10.9 percent since 2010, with the largest increase in the clean and renewable energy sector.