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City Attorney Mike Aguirre urged San Diego’s political leaders and citizens Thursday evening to combat global warming by becoming more energy efficient and shoring up the city’s infrastructure to deal with the affects of climate change.

Aguirre highlighted the efforts of municipalities around California and beyond for implementing policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urban sprawl.

He advocated for San Diego to follow suit during a City Hall forum, where he was joined by scientific experts and community leaders who backed the proposals he laid out in a 36-page report.

Read his entire report here.

He also emphasized the need to improve the city’s water and sewer systems, which remains underdeveloped as long as the city is unable to borrow on Wall Street. The infrastructure of San Diego and other coastal cities will suffer because of the rising water levels caused by global warming, Aguirre said.

“We need to maintain infrastructure that can face the harsh climatic changes and circumstances,” he said.

One proposal Aguirre laid out calls for San Diego to join a growing list of cities whose mayors have agreed to reach goals for low carbon emissions and to comply with the Kyoto Protocol.

Fred Sainz, the spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders, said the mayor is considering the pact, but has focused his attention on addressing the city’s fiscal ills.

“While this is important, there are more pressing priorities the city has right now,” Sainz said.

The city attorney said he is committed to requiring the review of environmental laws in city zoning and development. He said he also will consider joining civil lawsuits that attack polluters and to participate in the networks of cities that are working to fight global warming too.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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