Policy Issues

The STAY COOL Advisory Board has identified the following San Diego County policy issues as strategic priorities for our educational and outreach events. By working to advance action with these policies, we can most effectively help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help our region adapt to climate change.


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 issues are a primary concern since 46 to 47 percent of CO2 emissions in transportation_gridlockSan Diego are from cars and trucks. The City of San Diego, and several other cities and the County have Climate Action Plans which consider ways to reduce these emissions. However in some cases the plans have not been finalized and key policy decisions have not yet been made. STAY COOL members will study the transportation details of these plans and will provide support for aspects of the plans that most significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Additional Transportation Resources:

Climate Action Campaign’s Annual Report Card of CAPs
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 forCAP_GloriaandFaulconer action at the local level. Cities in California are required to develop Climate Action Plans (CAPs): comprehensive roadmaps that outline the 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 impacts of global warming. STAY COOL is working with partners at the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, the Climate Action Campaign and with other non-profits to track CAP progress and to advance climate action in our region.

2018 Update: for more than a year, representatives from STAY COOL and several other stakeholder groups have been working with the San Diego County Planning Department staff on the County’s Climate Action Plan.  However, we do not feel that the final draft CAP responds adequately to several concerns that STAY COOL and other groups have raised. In January 2018, we submitted a letter “Comment Letter on SD County CAP – STAY COOL – 1-16-18” and gave testimony to the County Planning Commission. However, on January 18, the Commission recommended approval of the final draft CAP without responding to many of the serious problems that were identified. 

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 Climate Collaborative
The San Diego Foundation Climate Initiative
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 offers 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.

Additional Open Space Resources:

Endangered Habitats League
San Diego Habitat Conservancy
The San Diego Foundation – Opening the Outdoors Initiative
Parks for Everyone Report
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 will take into account our region’s vulnerabilities and will help 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 State of the Coast
The San Diego Foundation’s Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy Executive Summary
Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Collaborative Efforts

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 Center
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

If you are a grandparent that wants to learn more about how you can help prevent climate change, become a STAY COOL member today. It’s free!


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