Mayor Faulconer Outlines Funding to Kick Off San Diego’s Landmark Climate Action Plan

Nearly $130 Million Dedicated to Transportation, Water, Infrastructure and Renewable Energy in Mayor’s Proposed FY2017 Budget

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer outlines funding to kick off San Diego's landmark Climate Action Plan
Monday, May 2, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE
 
San Diego – With the twin goals of investing in San Diego’s neighborhoods and slashing local greenhouse gas emissions in half, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer was joined by business and environmental leaders today to release a PDF icon report that outlines nearly $130 million in his Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal for transportation, water, infrastructure, renewable energy and other investments that support the goals of the City’s landmark Climate Action Plan.
 
“We’re building the foundation for a better and cleaner future in San Diego,” Mayor Faulconer said. “My budget proposal prioritizes neighborhood improvements and will more than double infrastructure funding. These investments, along with other sustainability initiatives, will help us as we work to reach the goals in the climate action plan.”
 
The PDF icon Climate Action Plan – unanimously approved by a bipartisan City Council in December – calls for eliminating half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the city and aims for all electricity used in the city to be from renewable resources by 2035.
 
The PDF icon Climate Action Plan Funding & Implementation Report, released today, shows the new funding for projects, programs and initiatives to implement the plan in Mayor Faulconer’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget. The $127.3 million is on top of ongoing appropriations in the current budget, much of which helps the City meet its climate goals in one form or another.
 
Highlights of the new funding include:
  • Installing 50 miles of new or improved bicycle lanes and implementing the Bike Master Plan
  • Conducting a Community Choice Energy feasibility study and review results with expected presentation to the City Council in 2017
  • Implementing highest priority bicycle lanes as recommended by the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s draft plan that aligns with “Vision Zero” goals of increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety, and focusing on disadvantaged communities
  • Installing approximately six megawatts of solar panels on City facilities
  • Advancing the Pure Water program to create an independent, drought-proof local water supply through water recycling and provide one-third of City’s water supply by 2035
  • Beginning implementation of the Downtown Mobility Plan
  • Constructing new and improved sidewalks
  • Constructing mobility improvements at high-volume intersections, such as Friars Road and State Route 163 
  • Installing 17 cameras in transit priority areas to facilitate improved bicycle commute data with funding for more cameras over next three years
  • Creating a Resource Recovery Center at the Miramar Landfill to separate organic materials for renewable energy production
  • Purchasing 20 new compressed natural gas trash and recycle trucks that will run on landfill gas
  • Planting 2,000 trees, and maintaining and preserving existing trees
  • Designing and constructing watershed projects to address water quality of storm drain discharge
  • Installing and modifying traffic signal systems to reduce congestion
  • Installing new energy efficiency and “smart” streetlights
  • Reviewing Capital Improvement Program to prioritize underserved communities and transit priority areas
The Funding & Implementation Report also includes money for energy efficient facilities, street repairs and new hires to support implementation efforts in various departments. Not included in the funding total are items without a direct cost, such as the City’s contract with a private firm to install solar panels on City facilities at no cost to taxpayers. 
 
The Funding & Implementation Report establishes a baseline funding level in the annual budget for the Climate Action Plan and funding is expected to ramp up in future years as the City nears its targets for 2020 and 2035.
 
Further updates on the progress of the Climate Action Plan will be released throughout the year as City staff works on a variety of actions, such as developing a plan to build bike lanes in places where they will have the maximum use.
 
The goals in the Climate Action Plan were established based on San Diego’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) level in 2010. The plan requires annual monitoring of GHG levels, the first of which will be conducted later this year. An analysis of job creation and social equity as they relate to the Climate Action Plan will be included in that annual report. 
 
The Climate Action Plan is a package of policies that will benefit San Diego’s environment and economy. It will help create new jobs in the renewable energy industry, improve public health and air quality, conserve water, more efficiently use existing resources, increase clean energy production, improve quality of life and save taxpayer money.
 
The plan also clearly identifies steps the City of San Diego can take to achieve the 2035 targets. That list includes creating a renewable energy program; implementing a Zero Waste plan; and changing policy to have a majority of the City’s fleet be electric vehicles.
 
Here’s what business and environmental leaders are saying about the Climate Action Plan’s Funding & Implementation Report:
 
City Council President Sherri Lightner: “A thorough implementation plan is critical to establish specific details outlining how we, as a city, intend to reach our Climate Action Plan goals going forward. Climate resiliency, in addition to infrastructure improvements, will be critical to ensure that our city is prepared to handle predicted, and potentially unforeseen, climate change impacts such as heat waves, drought and sea level rise.”
 
Jerry Sanders, President & CEO, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce: “As implementation of the Climate Action Plan begins, we commend the Mayor and Council for remaining committed to the key principles of flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and job creation. By enacting a plan that is measured, and strategic, the spending we do to protect our environment can be leveraged into an investment in our economy, the community, and local jobs.”
 
Nicole Capretz, Executive Director, Climate Action Campaign: “Thanks to the Mayor for putting forward an implementation plan that sets us on the right path to meet our climate plan goals. We still have a lot of work to do to figure out how we are going to model success, especially in building more compact, bikeable and walkable urban neighborhoods with functional transit, but the Mayor today has signaled that he is committed to identifying and implementing solutions and we applaud his efforts.”
 
Jim Stone, Executive Director, Circulate San Diego: “We are excited to see that San Diego’s Climate Action Plan encourages a variety of transportation modes by adding new bike lanes and sidewalks while focusing on underserved communities and transit priority areas. The Plan not only sets a course for San Diego, it serves as an example for cities around the nation. The Mayor's proposal today is a welcomed down payment on a robust implementation to demonstrate our City's continued leadership.”
 
Jason Anderson, President, Cleantech San Diego: “San Diego's landmark Climate Action Plan has the world watching and learning from our region's pursuit of environmental change alongside economic leadership. As the City enters the implementation phase of the CAP, I am confident that San Diego’s energy innovators are well prepared to help achieve the CAP's progressive goals and create an even stronger cleantech economy that will continue to serve as a model for sustainability planners around the globe.”
 
Andy Hanshaw, Executive Director, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition: “With this Implementation Plan, the City is reinforcing its strong commitment toward reaching its goals for increasing bicycle commuting mode share and becoming a leading city for sustainability and reducing climate change. The Bike Coalition is very supportive of this plan and we look forward to working with the Mayor on achieving the goals outlined in the plan.”
 
Matt Adams, Vice President, Building Industry Association of San Diego: “The Mayor’s Plan represents an ambitious and achievable strategy to implement the goals of the Climate Action Plan. Its success is built upon effective and efficient coordination among the various components including land use, transportation and energy efficiency.”
 
Stephen Heverly, Senior Project Manager, Center for Sustainable Energy’s Equinox Project: “CSE applauds Mayor Faulconer and the City Council for championing a vision for San Diego to take action on climate change, grow the local economy and enhance the region’s quality of life. San Diego is a vital player in California’s economy and has the opportunity to attract more investment dollars, continue to create clean energy jobs and positon itself as a national leader in clean energy policy to help achieve both economic and environmental goals.”