San Diego has just become the first major US city to commit to 100% renewable energy.
Since the historic agreement last week in Paris that aims to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, San Diego is now the first major city in the US that has committed to the effort in a huge way.
The San Diego City Council unanimously voted to make the city, the eighth largest in the country, to move to 100 percent renewable energy and cut greenhouse gases by half over the next 20 years. The city is the largest to make the commitment and it could be the first of many that are willing to join the battle against global warming.
In order to achieve the ambitious target, officials say they will move half of the city’s fleet to electric vehicles by 202 and recycle 90 percent of methane from its water treatment and sewerage plants. The city may also transfer control of power management from utility companies back into municipal control.
Many of the key details are still being worked out however, but city mayor Kevin Faulconer said the first important step was committing to the goal to “make sure we set it and hold to it.”
The city says it plans to focus on five key areas:
- Energy and water efficient buildings, with the city providing a mix of regulatory mandates and incentives
- Clean and renewable energy, with the city facilitating the installation of local renewable energy projects
- Bicycling, walking and transit, in which land-use decisions can promote alternative means of travel
- Reducing waste, promoting recycling and capturing landfill gases
- Climate resiliency, to create programs and policies that will help city officials respond to potential impacts
California has become one of the most ambitious states recently in terms of energy and emissions goals. The state as a whole has already said it plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.