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  • Writer's pictureKristin Brinner

Rebuild Solana Beach’s Position as THE Environmental Leader

Our city has a long history of environmental leadership: we were the first in the country to ban cigarette smoking on our beaches; first in the county to restrict the sale of single use plastic bags; first in our four county southern California region to offer electricity to our residents and businesses that is less expensive and more climate friendly than SDG&E’s products.

In recent years, unfortunately, the city council has lost its appetite for taking bold action to fight climate change. Measures such as the declaration of a climate emergency and electrification requirements for new buildings were pushed by the city’s Climate Action Commission (not City Council) for extended periods before the Council would take them up. A Social Equity chapter for the city’s Climate Action Plan has been delayed for months.

I am proud that all three previous Chairs of the city’s Climate Action Commission have endorsed me as a candidate for City Council. If elected, I will lead the effort to raise the level of environmental advocacy for the council and add urgency to the Council’s consideration of the following climate and environmental priorities:

  • Update the Climate Action Plan (CAP) with strong measures to protect our city and region against negative climate impacts, such as extreme heat, drought, sea level rise.

  • Make the CAP legally binding; the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency requires nothing less. The current CAP contains a number of goals to reach by 2035, but the City has not implemented many of the mitigation measures in its own plan. Under the city’s current trajectory, it is just empty words.

  • Broaden the scope of the city’s Climate Action Commission so that it can identify and work on climate threats, rather than contend with a bureaucratic process that determines discussion topics.

  • Aggressively recruit residents and businesses to the 100% renewable energy program at the Clean Energy Alliance. Let’s follow the City of Encinitas. People can always ‘opt down’ to less environmentally friendly options.

  • Beef up the city’s building electrification efforts. While the city did recently pass a building electrification ordinance, the city has not been setting a good example with its own actions. The city should commit to transitioning electrification of its equipment, such as city vehicles and other city-owned building appliances. Unfortunately city council recently approved the purchase of a new gas-guzzling pickup without exploring the need for a new truck and evaluating alternatives.

  • Consider restrictions on certain single-use plastics that are still allowed in the city.

  • Enforce the city’s 2019 plastics restrictions (they have languished during the pandemic), and close the loophole that allows businesses to offer ‘reusable’ plastic bags in order to skirt the existing ban on single-use plastic bags.

  • Complete development of the City’s Local Coastal Program. The city has been dragging its feet for almost a decade on this, and as a result continues to cede local control over coastal development to the California Coastal Commission. We must finally get the city’s long overdue Local Coastal Program certified and updated as needed for Sea Level Rise. The city will not have true local control over development along our coastline until this is done.

  • Make climate resilience planning an essential element of our city’s operations.

  • Purchase from SDG&E the remaining streetlights that the city does not already own; convert those lights to LED’s and save our city’s residents expensive electricity charges.

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