San Diego, CA–The San Diego City Council Tuesday adopted the city’s first-ever climate adaptation and resiliency plan designed to address the effects of climate change in the region.
The plan, titled Climate Resilient SD, provides strategies to prepare, respond and recover from potential climate change hazards, as well as how the proposed investments can improve local communities.
“Climate Resilient SD not only prepares for the impacts of climate change but also uses this as an opportunity to improve our city while doing so,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “I’m grateful to the City Council for moving this plan forward so we can make critical investments particularly in communities with the greatest need.”
The climate plan implements key strategies of the city’s Climate Action Plan and fulfills legislative requirements to integrate climate adaptation into the city’s General Plan. Specifically, it looks at San Diego’s primary climate change hazards: extreme heat, wildfires, sea-level rise, and flooding and drought.
The plan focuses on maintaining critical city services, prioritizing investments for the city’s most vulnerable populations, investing in the areas with the greatest needs and fewest resources available, ensuring communities are connected and informed to be best prepared for climate change, and supporting and enhancing the adaptability of the city’s thriving natural environments.
“At its core, climate resiliency is about people — San Diegans who need resources now to withstand the impacts of climate change we’re already experiencing” said Sean Elo-Rivera, San Diego City Council President. “That is why the City Council’s approval of Mayor Gloria’s Climate Resilient SD is so important. With this plan in place, I look forward to working with community to ensure they have the tools, resources, and information necessary to not only adapt to a changing climate but also to thrive.”
In addition to addressing climate change, the plan’s adaptation strategies focus on core benefits the city gains from its implementation, including social equity, improving air and water quality, and increasing recreational spaces in neighborhoods.
“Climate change hazards can have a serious impact on our city’s people, economy, infrastructure, and natural environment,” said Mike Hansen, the city’s Planning Director. “We are proud to have a plan that will make our neighborhoods healthier, safer, and more enjoyable for our residents while addressing these climate change hazards.”
City staff developed the plan over the past several years using input from organizations and agencies, public outreach events, public hearings, and community surveys, as well as potentially impacted city departments. The plan was informed by several vulnerability assessments that identified city assets susceptible to climate change impacts and potential consequences.
Climate Resilient SD’s policies focused on nature-based solutions and equitable implementation to address the needs of the city’s most vulnerable populations are expected to position the city well to receive federal and state funding for climate change-related infrastructure.
Climate Resilient SD is one element of Mayor Todd Gloria’s Our Climate, Our Future initiative. The updated Climate Action Plan draft, which establishes a community-wide goal of net zero emissions by 2035, is currently out for public review.