Inside San Diego
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Continuing his efforts to confront the climate crisis, Mayor Todd Gloria has announced that climate action champion Shelby Rust Busό has been tapped as the City of San Diego’s new Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) following a yearlong nationwide search for the position that will lead implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP).
“I’m excited to welcome Shelby to our City family, where she’ll lead the implementation of our ambitious Climate Action Plan," said Mayor Todd Gloria. "Delivering on our goal of net-zero emissions by 2035 will require City-wide mobilization of many stakeholders, and Shelby will play a critical role by coordinating efforts across City departments and with community and regional partners.”
As CSO, Rust Busό will head up one of three crucial pillars – climate action – for the Sustainability and Mobility Department, alongside the energy and mobility pillars. In leading the CAP update and Climate Action Implementation Plan, she will ensure that CAP actions are programmed, resourced and implemented successfully upon adoption by City Council, which is anticipated this summer.
“Ms. Rust Busό is a perfect complement to our team,” says Sustainability and Mobility Department Director Alyssa Muto. “She brings a combination of professional experience in sustainable building design, mobility and circulation, local food-system programs, and resiliency and climate mitigation practices. As the CSO, she will ensure the City has a single point of contact and leader to support and build consensus among departments in the development of work plans and associated budgets necessary for Citywide implementation of the CAP update.”
Rust Busό will also lead the City’s work on the long-term planning and implementation for decarbonizing buildings and neighborhoods.
“Her combined community engagement and partnership experience, along with her experience with the U.S. Green Building Council, will help the City ensure a just transition that can create a thriving construction environment needed to continue building housing for all San Diegans,” added Muto.
Prior to joining the City of San Diego, Rust Busό was most recently the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Miami. Before that role, she served for two years under then-Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as the CSO for the City of Atlanta, where she led the sustainability team, primarily responsible for clean energy, urban agriculture, operational sustainability, food access, electric vehicle adoption, health initiatives, water conservation, waste diversion efforts and managing all sustainability-related personnel. She also implemented Atlanta’s climate resilience strategy.
Rust Busό holds a juris doctorate and master’s degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, Spanish and environmental studies from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Under Mayor Gloria’s leadership, the City of San Diego is taking bold action in the battle against climate change through a comprehensive approach called Our Climate, Our Future (OCOF). Under the OCOF umbrella are multiple short and long-term initiatives, including the CAP update, Municipal Energy Strategy, Building Decarbonization, Climate Resiliency SD, an Organics Recycling Program, Blueprint SD and a first-of-its-kind Climate Equity Index.
The City’s updated CAP sets the goal for the City to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. So far, more than 3,300 San Diegans shared their needs, concerns and priorities in the development of this plan. To provide input on the draft CAP update, please visit sandiego.gov/CAP.