Groundbreaking Climate Change Plan

Once a bastion of sprawl, the San Diego region is now embracing one of the most significant regional planning efforts in the nation's history. It is the first region in California to draft a Sustainable Communities Strategy, as mandated by SB 375.

SANDAG (The San Diego regional planning agency) is behind the strategy, which is currently open for public comment before being approved. The goal of the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) is to reduce the region's per capita emissions by 7% by 2020 and 13% by 2035.

Josh Stephens reports:

"By now, the methods for reaching such targets have become well accepted throughout the state. Regions are encouraging compact development, beefing up public transit plans, and allocating new housing-according to Regional Housing Needs Assessments-in locations that enable residents to drive less, rather than by spreading housing evenly around a region. San Diego especially is investing in transportation demand management (TDM) strategies such as high-occupancy toll lanes on its freeways.

A combination of all of these tactics, officials say, will enable the region to meet, or even exceed, its SB 375 targets. Moreover, SANDAG is going beyond 2035 and actually is planning for growth through 2050."

Thanks to Josh Stephens

Full Story: Pioneering Sustainability Plan Takes Shape in San Diego Region



CARB's GHG Reduction Target

It appears that "Planetizen" regards CARB's new emission standard as a significant achievement. Why? If, as you say, California's population is destined to increase by 29% and the per capita emission rate to drop by only 15% it follows that by the end of the period California's overall emission rate would be 10% higher than it is today. Is that progress? What does a 10% increase in total California GHG emissions do for global warming?

Thanks to better engines, smaller vehicles, hybrids, biofuels and the advent of electric cars, California's per capita emission rate is already on a downward trend, a trend that is projected to continue as new and smaller vehicles come on line throughout California. Because of this well-established trend, California's per capita GHG emission rate will continue to drop even if California's CMA's and MPO's do nothing but talk. Unfortunately CARB's radical divergence from the high standards embodied in AB 32 both undercuts the objectives of AB 32 and lets California's CMA's and MPO's off the hook.

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