The Morning Report
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The San Diego City Council passed Tuesday a new version of the city’s Climate Action Plan, which commits the city to reaching “net zero” carbon emissions by 2035. What’s net zero? Voice of San Diego reporter MacKenzie Elmer broke that down earlier this year, but basically it means the city will produce the amount of emissions that can be sequestered, either by the natural environment or to-be-developed technological means.
The city’s new plan is a meaningfully grander commitment than its last one, nearly doubling the greenhouse gas reductions it commits the city to making by 2035.
Among the most significant of the new actions: The plan says the city must eliminate 90 percent of natural gas usage from all existing buildings in the city.
Doing that alone is how the city plans to get nearly half of all the emission reductions in the plan. Alternatively, that means failing to eliminate natural gas usage from nearly all buildings in the city would wipe out a substantial chunk of the carbon emissions they’re counting on by 2035.
As Elmer outlined last year, labor unions have had concerns about the city’s push to electrify nearly all buildings, and it’s not yet clear how the city will ensure such a dramatic shift within private properties.
City staffers said at the meeting that by February, they’d come back to the Council with another plan to implement all the goals and policies in this plan. That’s a nod to the extent to which the city has largely ignored significant chunks of the last plan, while implementing other major components, such as the creation of San Diego Community Power, a public energy provider that the city created after committing to do so in the first plan.