Del Mar’s climate action plan now available

DEL MAR — A draft of Del Mar’s climate action plan, which is scheduled for possible adoption at the Jan. 19 meeting, has been posted on the city website.

A CAP, as it is known, is a tool for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from different sources. It sets targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 2035, identifies strategies to meet those targets and formulates an implementation process.

Del Mar’s plan has been in development for about two years in response to a 2006 state law that requires greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020.

With grant money from the San Diego Association of Governments, a greenhouse gas inventory was completed for Del Mar in March 2011 based on data from 2005. An energy roadmap for city operations was created in 2013.

Since early 2014 the Sustainability Advisory Board has updated the greenhouse gas inventory based on data from 2012 and 2013.

Efforts by the group also include indentifying proposed mitigation measures and strategies — and estimated greenhouse gas reduction quantities for each measure — determining recommended reduction targets for 2020 and 2035 and preparing an implementation plan.

Community input to help develop the plan was garnered through a public workshop in September.

The draft, which was presented to council at its Dec. 7 meeting, is considered a “high-level” policy plan that doesn’t set any new laws, nor is it being written as part of the Del Mar Community Plan or pursued as mitigation for a particular project.

The current goal is to formally establish greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020 and 2035 and strategies for achieving those targets. Once the CAP is adopted work will begin to implement the individual projects and policies identified.

The plan proposes a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction by 2035. Measures for achieving those targets fall into four categories: energy and buildings, water and waste, transportation and urban tree planting.

Recommended strategies include an increased use of renewable energy sources, such as community choice aggregation, and modifying the planning and building application process for the installation of photovoltaic panels and energy efficiency retrofits.

Other suggestions include developing a zero-waste program/policy; implementing a “complete streets” approach in designing modifications to arterial roads to make them more pedestrian and bike friendly; exploring the installation of roundabouts; and possible implementation of an urban tree planting program.

There are 22 recommended goals and 49 measures identified as part of the implementation plan. All recommendations may not come to fruition. Each item will be evaluated, vetted by the appropriate city advisory committee and brought to City Council for consideration.

The proposed plan also discusses ways the city can adapt to the effects of climate change already occurring or anticipated to occur, such as sea level rise and water supply shortages.

Encinitas, Vista, Chula Vista and Escondido have already adopted a CAP. Solana Beach is currently developing one.

Initial reaction to Del Mar’s proposed CAP was positive, with Councilman Dwight Worden calling it “aspirational and directive.”

“I fully support this plan,” Councilman Don Mosier added.

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