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Del Mar council hears introductory report on city’s draft climate action plan

The City Council recently got a closer look at a plan that could cut Del Mar’s greenhouse gas emissions in half in 20 years.

The draft Climate Action Plan outlines how the city could work against climate change. Once adopted, it will serve as a comprehensive roadmap, outlining specifically what strategies the city could use to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035.

“I fully support this plan,” said Councilman Don Mosier. “If we stay on this time track, we’ll narrowly beat the city of San Diego’s adoption of CAP, and that’s the goal.”

The competition of a Climate Action Plan is one of the council’s priorities for fiscal year 2015-16.

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Chula Vista, Encinitas, Escondido and Vista are among the cities in San Diego County that have adopted such plans. The city of San Diego is also working on a plan.

With a grant from the San Diego Association of Governments, Del Mar’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory was completed in 2011 using data from 2005. An Energy Roadmap for city operations was created in 2013.

Since early 2014, city staff has worked with the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board to update Del Mar’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory based on data from 2012 and 2013, determine greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020 and 2035, identify mitigation measures and strategies, draft the plan and prepare an implementation plan. The project was made possible by support from SANDAG, San Diego Gas & Electric, Energy Policy Initiatives Center and consulting firm Atkins.

The plan looks at cutting greenhouse gas emissions through strategies related to energy and buildings, water and waste, transportation and tree planting. There are 22 recommended goals on the list, along with 49 measures identified as part of the implementation plan, according to the staff report. Each item would be evaluated by the appropriate city advisory committee, as applicable, and brought before the council for consideration.

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Priorities for the first phase include focusing on renewable energy sources, facilitating the installation of solar panels and energy retrofits, developing a zero-waste program or policy, implementing a “complete streets” policy for arterial streets, exploring the installation of roundabouts, and possibly implementing an urban tree planting program.

Staff is expected to bring the full plan to council for adoption in January 2016. In preparation for the meeting, city staff previewed the project during the Dec. 7 council meeting.

“Full steam ahead,” said Councilman Dwight Worden, who serves as a liaison to the Sustainability Advisory Board. “This is a good thing.”

For more about the project, visit www.delmar.ca.us/cap.


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