Last month, under the leadership of Ann Moore, the San Diego Unified Port District took a big step towards addressing climate change and pollution in San Diego when the Board of Port Commissioners unanimously adopted a Climate Action Plan.

port sunsetThe plan is so significant because it charts a course of action to lower the Port's greenhouse gas emissions-- the pollution responsible for causing climate change -- and sets an example for the rest of San Diego. Climate change and pollution from the Port both have huge health impacts on the region, especially neighboring low-income communities of color. With its location along the waterfront, as a center and facilitator of global goods shipping and a home to a mix of heavy, polluting industries as well as waterfront tourism businesses, the Port stands as a cause of climate change as well as a future victim.

Specifically, the Port's climate plan sets targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2035 and identifies strategies that may be used to reduce emissions from the Port and the 600 bayfront businesses to which the Port is a landlord. Some such strategies include:

• Making new and existing buildings more efficient
• Generating renewable energy along the bayfront
• Increasing use of clean vehicles, vessels and machinery

Next steps for the Port's climate plan will be identifying which specific emissions reductions strategies the Port will prioritize for implementing in 2014. Meanwhile, we'll continue urging the Port to take meaningful actions to ensure community health is at the forefront of Port decisions and the necessary actions are taken to achieve climate stability in San Diego. 

We've worked diligently over the past three years to ensure that the Port, landlord for many of the largest polluters in the region, secures adoption of a plan, and we applaud the Board of Port Commissioners for unanimously supporting it. Now, we can't wait to see this vision for San Diego's sustainable future put into action.