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San Diego Leaders Issue Report on Economic Resilience Amid Growing Impacts of Climate Change

May 5, 2016 – San Diego, CA –The San Diego Foundation, in partnership with Climate Education Partners, released new findings today that identify and address the impacts of a changing climate on business and economic growth in the San Diego region.

The reports affirm how health and water play a critical role in shaping the future of San Diego, and identify how leaders can work together to leverage opportunities to prepare for the impacts of climate change and create a more resilient economy and region by acting now.

One of the notable findings is that rising temperatures will impact many of the region’s heat-exposed industries, such as construction, agriculture and transportation, which amounts to approximately 220,000 local workers and $32 billion for our local economy. The research also indicates that San Diego County will face less frequent but more intense rainstorms in the future, putting commercial, residential and government sectors at risk of flash flooding, which can cost an estimated $10-18 million per event.

The reports include practical steps that businesses can take to improve the resiliency of the region, as well as commitments from local leaders taking action today. By making a concerted effort to adopt efficient and clean technologies, leaders could reduce the costs of climate change adaptation measures by as much as 40 percent. San Diegans are encouraged to share the briefs with businesses and public officials to inform local efforts and work together to invest in solutions that manage the risks and prepare for a changing future.

“From our beaches and bays to our clean air and drinking water, San Diegans take pride in the high quality of life that makes this region great and drives economic strength,” emphasized Dr. Emily Young, Vice President of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation. “These new findings underscore just how important it is for public and corporate leaders to work together and make decisions that prioritize the long-term resiliency of the region by addressing challenges caused by climate change.”

Climate Education Partners (CEP), a collaborative of local experts, community leaders and organizations, works with local scientists, educators and a wide range of leaders to help San Diegans learn more about, prepare for and respond to the impacts of a changing climate. The “San Diego, 2050 is Calling. How Will We Answer?” report, released in 2014 by The San Diego Foundation and CEP, provides information about how  leaders can maintain the natural beauty, ideal weather and abundant resources within the region. This latest research expands on this information with a focus on economic resilience. The study identifies how the impacts from a changing climate can affect local businesses, and highlights opportunities to respond to those impacts and even grow the region’s cleantech and related economy.

“The San Diego region is a world-renowned location for businesses offering a high quality of life to employees in large part due to our region’s mild year-round climate and great outdoors,” commented Mark Cafferty, President/CEO of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “We’re also one of the most innovative regions in the world. By addressing the impacts of our changing climate, we can maintain our vibrant quality of life and continue to position the San Diego region to capitalize on sustainable business and economic development practices.”

“Climate Education Partners is very excited to see this report in the hands of our regional business and government leaders so they can make decisions and work with the information to not only prepare for our future, but to also understand the economic opportunities for doing so proactively,” said Michel Boudrias, PhD, Principal Investigator of CEP and Associate Professor at the University of San Diego. “Working together with the science community, we know San Diego’s regional leaders can address the issues we’ll face and prepare us for the health, water and related economic impacts so the region’s economy can continue to grow and thrive well into the future.”

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation promotes and increases effective and responsible charitable giving to grow a more vibrant region. The Foundation manages more than $652 million in assets, more than half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $977 million to the nonprofit community. For more information, visit our website and consider a donation to the Fund for the Future Endowment which supports San Diego now and forever.

About Climate Education Partners

Climate Education Partners is a collaboration of professors, scientists, researchers, educators, communications professionals, and community leaders who think San Diego is a special place and believe that future generations deserve to enjoy the San Diego we know and love, with its natural beauty and ideal weather. The partnership consists of representatives from the University of San Diego, The San Diego Foundation, CSU San Marcos, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, The Steve Alexander Group and UC San Francisco. The group works with local civic, business, government, and education leaders to communicate the causes of climate change, its impacts in our region, and options for how to adapt to or prevent those impacts. For more information about this project, visit www.sandiego.edu/climate.

Contacts

Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, justin@sdfoundation.org

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