Continuing with his efforts to commit San Diego to act on climate and as part of his participation at the COP26 global climate conference, Mayor Todd Gloria has signed the City of San Diego up for Cities Race to Zero – a global alliance of cities working to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
“The City’s ‘Our Climate, Our Future’ initiative is built on our commitment to act locally and engage globally – and that’s exactly what joining Cities Race to Zero represents,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. "While it’s critically important for cities like ours to step up and get involved in climate action, it’s equally imperative that we partner with other public and private entities and join initiatives like this to align with international goals and tap into complementary experiences and resources to support our local efforts.”
The City of San Diego’s new Climate Action Plan sets a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, putting us well ahead of this target. Cities Race to Zero will provide an opportunity for global alignment on the goals the City has already committed to locally.
"Climate change is a global crisis that requires immediate action at the local level,” said Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, representative for District 9 and chair of the San Diego City Council’s Environment Committee. “Local governments are incubators of transformative policy and the United Nations' Cities Race to Zero initiative recognizes the critical role cities can play in combating climate change. I'm proud San Diego is joining Cities Race to Zero and look forward to emerging as an international leader for what we do at home: providing every San Diegan a clean, healthy, and sustainable community where they can thrive.”
Organized under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Cities Race to Zero is a campaign run by the COP26 Presidency and High-Level Climate Champions to encourage leadership and collaboration among a variety of stakeholders to ensure a healthy and resilient zero carbon transition.
“San Diego has long been a climate action pioneer among global cities, demonstrating critical leadership that has directly contributed to growth of the cleantech economy in this region," said Jason Anderson, president and CEO of Cleantech San Diego. “San Diego will be a powerful partner in the Cities Race to Zero alliance, and Cleantech San Diego's members in the private sector are well-prepared to help achieve the campaign’s net zero greenhouse gas emission goals.”
To align with Cities Race to Zero, the City’s draft Climate Action Plan also includes an interim target for 2030 based on our “fair share” of global emissions reductions given our relative level of development and economic resources. The initiative will provide valuable opportunities for international exchange and resources from the United Nations and its many partner institutions.
"The planet is burning in front of our eyes and San Diego’s low-income communities of color are at the frontlines of the nearing climate disaster as well as the solution,” said Carolina Martinez, climate justice director of the Environmental Health Coalition. “Environmental Health Coalition celebrates the City’s efforts to transition to zero-emission ahead of the international target. The inclusion of the clean air strategy in the City’s Climate Action Plan and the Port of San Diego’s recent commitment to transition cargo trucks to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2030 demonstrate San Diego’s commitment to environmental justice and solving the climate crisis. The equitable implementation of all climate policy advances the best solutions to clean the air, build healthy communities and save our planet.”
This week, Gloria has been at COP26 – the 2021 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference – to build international support for San Diego’s climate initiatives and exchange best practices with other cities around the world. The mayor’s climate advocacy is part of his “Our Climate, Our Future” initiative, which seeks to address the climate crisis, improve public health and quality of life, and drive innovation and opportunity in the regional economy.