After hundreds of thousands of demonstrators from around the world united this past Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change, the San Diego City Council on Monday joined the City’s Environment Committee in adopting a resolution urging Mayor Faulconer to reduce pollution and prepare the city for the impacts of climate change by finalizing the draft Climate Action Plan. According to Environmental Health Coalition, today’s Council recommendation was another demonstration of the continued demand for climate action citywide and a reminder of Mayor Faulconer’s inexplicable failure to advance the plan.
“Dozens of public meetings have guided the climate plan’s development over a four year process. It’s all complete – now we’re just waiting for the mayor to take action,” said Kayla Race, policy advocate at Environmental Health Coalition and member of the City's Economic and Environmental Sustainability Task Force. “We hope Mayor Faulconer will make a concrete commitment now to support the plan and the years of public input that has gone into it so our city can get to work on effective solutions.“
During his tenure as interim mayor, Council President Todd Gloria prioritized taking action to prepare San Diego for climate change and released the draft Climate Action Plan. Per Gloria’s timeline, the plan should undergo final approval by early 2015. Now, according to public statements by Mayor Faulconer’s staff, San Diego won’t see any action on climate until spring 2015. Plan supporters worry that timeline will be even later if the mayor’s patterns of delay continue.
At the meeting, a diverse set of people spoke in support of the resolution, including residents, environmental organizations, health associations, labor unions, solar companies and transportation advocates.Supporters emphasized the need for a concrete commitment and action by Mayor Faulconer. City Council responded by adopting the resolution 5-3; Councilmembers Gloria, Alvarez, Harris, Cole and Lightner voted in favor of the resolution. Councilmembers Zapf, Sherman and Kersey voted in opposition. Councilmember Marti Emerald was absent.
“The mayor needs to take action now - climate change impacts are already coming at a huge cost to our health, safety and wallets. Low-income neighborhoods like mine that already have poor air quality, and we simply can’t afford anymore pollution,” said Roddy Jerome, resident of San Ysidro. “We have an incredible need for the climate plan’s solutions like more reliable public transit and energy efficient buildings. We don’t understand the Mayor’s delay on this critical situation.”
For more information on Environmental Health Coalition and the details of the Climate Action Plan, click here. To join EHC in supporting a strong plan addressing climate change in San Diego, click here.