San Antonio: Climate Ready?
The City of San Antonio's plan to be "carbon neutral" by 2050 has drawn mixed reactions since its release in late January. What strategies are being proposed? Does the plan go too far or not far enough in working to reduce climate impacts?
San Antonio is already feeling the effects of climate change. Climate modeling shows the city could face up to four months per year of degrees topping 100 degrees by the end of the century, if action isn't taken to reduce the rate of global warming.
The draft Climate Action and Adaptation Plan details changes in five categories that would decrease greenhouse gas emissions and decrease dependence on carbon-based fuels: energy and buildings; transportation and land use; waste and consumption; water and natural resources; and climate equity.
Environmental activism groups say the City needs to adopt a stronger plan as the current iteration isn't aggressive enough when it comes to the timeline for reducing emissions and the use of coal as fuel by CPS Energy.
The municipally-owned utility maintains that it is steadily lowering its generation of fossil fuels and is focusing on more renewable energy, but projects using coal to power 7 percent of energy in 2040.
Multiple City Council members voiced concerns about potential additional costs that could burden home builders and buyers if the plan were to be enacted as is.
How does the plan incorporate diverse perspectives and address concerns of area residents, businesses and utilities? How can we ensure San Antonio's most vulnerable communities are engaged in climate planning?
What are other cities doing to address and mitigate the looming effects of climate change? Is it enough?
A 30-day comment period for the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan ends Feb. 24.
CPS Energy's board of trustees will host a public input session about the plan on Feb. 18.
- Doug Melnick, chief sustainability officer for the City of San Antonio's Office of Sustainability
- Nils Moe, managing director of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network
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This interview aired on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.