In San Diego, California’s second largest city, Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer was thrust into the middle of a decision that could potentially chart the city’s climate path for the coming decades. After winning a special election, and defeating a Democratic mayor, Faulconer inherited a bold climate action plan—one that aimed to slash the city’s carbon emissions in half and to make a complete transition to renewable energy sources. Many suspected that the newly elected mayor would axe the plan, however, Faulconer embraced it.
Like many mayors across the nation, Faulconer put partisanship aside, and reflected on which actions would be best for the residents of San Diego. “I look at it from a quality-of-life standpoint for us in San Diego; protecting the environment … that’s part of what makes us special in San Diego, our clean air, our water, our sunshine, our open space. So protecting that for future generations, that’s incredibly important.”
Mayor Faulconer is helping to set the tone on climate change, and to steer action away from partisanship. Mayors and city leaders must embrace climate solutions and empower their communities. Find out how by visiting Path to Positive Communities!
SAN DIEGO — Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer confronted the issue of climate change not long after taking office in this coastal city.
Faulconer, 49, became mayor in 2014 after winning a special election to replace former Mayor Bob Filner (D). The list of decisions for the new GOP leader included whether to support an expansive climate action plan.
Every city in the state is required to have a climate road map as part of its general plan. When Faulconer took over, San Diego had a draft blueprint crafted by an interim mayor who was filling in after Filner resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.
The temporary mayor, Todd Gloria, was a Democrat, and his climate plan had ambitious goals. He wanted to switch to 100 percent renewable power and cut the city’s carbon emissions in half. Both would be done by 2035. It was unclear initially whether Faulconer would accept those aspirations.