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How San Diego Leads the Charge to Protect Our Earth

As we celebrate Earth Day, and with more than 130 countries gathering today at the United Nations headquarters to sign a landmark global climate agreement, we also take stock of how our region plays a key role in protecting the planet for today and future generations.

Last December, on the heels of the historic international agreement in Paris, the City of San Diego passed a bold and ambitious Climate Action Plan, which has a five part framework:

  1. Energy and Water Efficient Buildings
  2. Clean and Renewable Energy
  3. Bicycling, Walking, Transit and Land Use
  4. Zero Waste
  5. Climate Resiliency

By working together with many civic, business, nonprofit and government partners, San Diego has become America’s largest municipality to commit itself to reach 100% clean energy and cut polluting emissions in half.

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This Earth Day, San Diegans can be proud of these efforts to lead the charge globally.

In fact, to date all cities in our region have completed greenhouse gas emissions, and two-thirds are working on or have adopted a climate action plan. Many cities and public agencies from Oceanside to Imperial Beach are working with the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative to prepare for local impacts of climate change including increased coastal flooding and an increasingly water-constrained future.

An exciting number of civic organizations and nonprofits – from American Lung Association, Circulate San Diego, Environmental Health Coalition, Climate Action Campaign, Stay Cool and Surfrider Foundation — are working together with communities to help our region pick up the pace of action and meet this challenge today.

Role of Philanthropy

Since 2007, The San Diego Foundation has worked through our Climate Initiative with nonprofits, governments, business and donors to help catalyze more comprehensive regional action and leadership.

Is your organization helping protect our climate today and in the future?
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For example, in 2015, we granted $311,500 in climate resilience grants addressing a range of issues including coastal flooding, fire safety, water reuse and energy efficiency programs.

We have partnered with organizations such as ICLEI -Local Governments for Sustainability and the Energy Policy Initiatives Center to provide climate action planning technical assistance to all 19 local governments in the region.

Through our Blasker-Rose-Miah Fund, we are currently seeking grant applications for work by early-career scientists to better understand the regional and local impacts of climate change to help communities region-wide address this shared challenge.

We’ve worked with Climate Education Partners to conduct public opinion research on views of regional residents about climate change, and share our region’s world-renowned climate science as summarized in San Diego, 2050 is Calling. How Will We Answer? with leaders and communities.

Play Your Part

As leaders from around the world are signing on to climate action, we all can play a part in making these plans a reality.

The San Diego Foundation is proud to continue working together with our community to maintain our quality of life today and for future generations.

Is your organization also making an impact in protecting our planet? Let us know in the comments!

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