Policy Issues

The STAY COOL Advisory Council has identified the following climate change policy issues as strategic priorities for our educational and outreach activities.

Transportation | Climate Action Plans
Sea Level Rise | Open Space and Environmental Preservation

Transportation – advocating for smarter transportation policy that will result in reduced GHG emissions.

transportation_gridlockTransportation issues are a primary concern since more than 45 percent of CO2 emissions in San Diego are from cars and trucks. STAY COOL members are staying engaged with SANDAG and regional planning activities to identify and support ways we can effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Click here to reada recent article about STAY COOL’s actions to support “Setting a High Bar for Climate Protection in SANDAG’s Regional Plan Update.” 

We also encourage local governments and other public agencies to include strong transportation policies and actions in their Climate Action Plans. These policies and actions aim to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled and encourage use of transportation modes that do not rely on fossil fuels.

Additional Transportation Resources:

Circulate San Diego
San Diego Bicycle Coalition
SANDAG’s San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan

Climate Action Plans – tracking and raising public support for measurable and enforceable CAPs.

STAY COOL believes the key to regional climate change mitigation and adaptation is action at the local level. Many local governments and public agencies in the San Diego region have developed and adopted Climate Action Plans (CAPs) – comprehensive roadmaps that outline specific, measurable and attainable activities that a jurisdiction will undertake to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When CAPs are implemented effectively, our communities will show leadership in reducing emissions and will be prepared for the effects of global warming. STAY COOL began working with partners at the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Climate Action Campaign and with other nonprofits to track CAP progress and to advance climate action in our region back in 2015. The Climate Action Campaign now tracks CAP progress through their CAP Report Card project.

2018 Update: For more than a year, representatives from STAY COOL and several other stakeholder groups worked with the San Diego County Planning Department staff on the County’s Climate Action Plan.  However, we did not feel that the final draft CAP responded adequately to several concerns that STAY COOL and other groups had raised.  In early 2018, STAY COOL testified before the County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors recommending that significant changes be made to the final draft CAP (see STAYCOOL Letter on CountyCAP 2-9-18).  However, the Board of Supervisors ultimately approved the staff-recommended CAP. STAY COOL will continue to monitor and speak out on the County’s implementation of its CAP and other related County planning policies.

Additional Climate Action Resources:

Climate Action Campaign’s CAP Report Card
Climate Education Partners – San Diego Region
Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) at the University of San Diego
League of Women Voters – San Diego Region
San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative
The San Diego Foundation – The Climate Program
Student’s Guide to Global Warming
Understanding Climate Change and Solar Energy

Open Space and Environmental Preservation – how they relate to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

STAY COOL believes that connecting, protecting and increasing access to open space is anCAP_environment effective strategy for climate change adaptation. Not only can access to the outdoors help improve quality of life and personal well-being, preservation of open space brings economic and environmental benefits. Natural spaces offer important environmental benefits – such as helping with storm water runoff, filtering air and water pollution, and providing habitat for our region’s rich biodiversity – and will play an important role in adapting to our warming planet.

NOTE: STAY COOL has developed a community presentation to highlight the importance of open space and green infrastructure. Contact us to request a presentation at your community group or meeting.

Additional Open Space Resources:

Endangered Habitats League
San Diego Habitat Conservancy
The San Diego Foundation – Opening the Outdoors Initiative
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy

Sea Level Rise – and its impact on our coastal communities, businesses and ecosystems.

Among the expected global warming impacts, perhaps none poses a greater risk than sea SLR_SeacoastDr_SergeDedinalevel rise (SLR) to San Diego’s unique coastlines, our biological diversity and our economic vitality. This century, elevation of average sea level could change by as much as five feet, putting our community infrastructures, ecosystems and economies at risk. STAY COOL supports actions that take into account our region’s vulnerabilities and advance strategies that build our resilience to rising seas.

Additional Sea Level Rise Resources:

Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
King Tides Project
NOAA’s Ocean Service
The San Diego Foundation’s Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy (2012)
Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Collaborative Efforts

STAY COOL for Grandkids is fiscally sponsored by the San Diego Audubon Society. We are grateful for their partnership and support.

Additional Collaborators and Relevant Organizations:

SD350.org – San Diego Chapter
California Center for Sustainable Energy
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
CleanTECH San Diego
Climate Science Alliance – South Coast
Elders Climate Action
Environmental Health Coalition
Equinox Project at Center for Sustainable Energy
League of Women Voters – San Diego Chapter
The San Diego Foundation – Focus 2050 Report “San Diego, 2050 Is Calling. HOW WILL WE ANSWER?”
San Diego Habitat Conservancy
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego
Sierra Club, San Diego Chapter
The Water Conservation Garden

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