Port of San Diego Adopts Climate Action Plan

The Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners has adopted a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on District tidelands.

The Port District said in a prepared statement that it is among the first ports in the nation to adopt such a sustainability guide voluntarily. The plan passed unanimously on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

The science-based planning document will be used to provide a long-term and strategic vision for sustainability. The climate action plan addresses the port’s entire jurisdiction including tidelands in all five of its member cities (San Diego, Coronado, Chula Vista, National City, and Imperial Beach) as well as the port’s tenant businesses.

“By adopting a climate action plan, the Port of San Diego continues to demonstrate its commitment to the environment as a steward of San Diego Bay,” said Chair Ann Moore of the board of port commissioners. “The climate action plan will guide us in further reducing our environmental impact for years to come by managing energy and water use, and reducing waste, on our San Diego waterfront.”

In June 2012, the Board made a key policy decision and set GHG reduction goals for District tidelands. The goals were made using 2006 emissions as a baseline. The goals are: 10% reduction by 2020 and 25% reduction by 2035.

Greenhouse gases come from all sorts of activities, such as using heating and cooling, manufacturing, and driving.

The Climate Action Plan identifies six GHG emission reduction categories including: Transportation and land use; energy conservation and efficiency; alternative energy generation; water conservation and recycling; waste reduction and recycling and miscellaneous, including education.

The Board of Port Commissioners, with input from the public and stakeholders, developed policies within each emissions category to provide guidance on implementation of the plan. Supporting those policies are more than 60 measures that will help the Port reduce its GHG emissions.

The Port already has 19 of those measures in place. Some examples are: The port’s Green Business Network, in which 79 of the Port’s tenant businesses learn sustainable business practices with help from San Diego Gas & Electric; shore power for cruise ships which also reduces diesel emissions; a clean truck policy on port maritime terminals; and solar panels and retrofitted lighting around port facilities.

According to the port, the measures also have corresponding “co-benefits” such as job creation, transportation system benefits, and public health improvements.

Each year, with a more comprehensive look every three years, the Board of Port Commissioners will measure the effectiveness of the plan. It is anticipated that the first comprehensive review will be conducted in 2015 to evaluate 2014 emissions.

The climate action plan will be included in other integrated planning efforts at the District.
Work began on the plan in September 2010. Port staff hosted several public discussions and outreach meetings over the past three years. Key stakeholders including San Diego Gas & Electric, the Environmental Health Coalition, the San Diego Foundation, and the San Diego Port Tenants Association have been involved in the development of the Climate Action Plan from the start.

The SDG&E local government partnership program provided partial funding to develop this climate action plan.

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