SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg will officially release his Climate Action and Adaptation Plan to City Council members on Thursday.
The nearly 100-page report details a handful of strategies to combat climate change locally.
“Over the last really year and a half, community members from neighborhoods, businesses, the environmental community, experts in their fields, have come together to draft a plan to get us to the ultimate goal which is carbon neutrality in 2050," Nirenberg said.
When asked why San Antonio needs such a plan, Nirenberg said, "To improve prospects for public health, to make our communities more resilient, to really deal with the impacts of the changing climate."
The CAAP focuses on drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the report said the majority of the emissions comes from energy used by buildings.
"It starts with making sure we're building our structures in a more resilient way," Nirenberg said.
Transporation is also a key component of the plan.
"A multimodal system is more than just mass transit. It's a better bus network that operates more efficiently and more frequently. It's safer bicycle lanes where people can feel comfortable riding their bikes or other micromobility without fearing getting hit by a car. Protected bike lanes. It's also better sidewalks so people can feel comfortable walking down the sidewalk instead of on these little 3-foot shoulders of the road," Nirenberg said.
In addition to reducing building energy consumption, the plan outlines three other mitigation strategies to combat greenhouse gas emissions:
- Increase carbon-free energy
- Advance the circular economy by minimizing waste and maximizing recycling
- Promote biodiversity and healthy ecosystems
- Educate and empower the community
The ultimate goal is to make San Antonio carbon neutral by the year 2050.
There is no estimated cost for the plan, which critics have pointed out. But Nirenberg and other supporters of the CAAP have argued that the cost of doing nothing could be far greater.
"There are technologies and innovations we'll depend on that are simply not there yet. But we'll have to assess as things move along," Nirenberg said. "This is a living document meant to be a framework for future action. It's not a set of dictates or a mandate."
You can view the entire plan below. But if you don't want to wade through the whole CAAP document, the following pages highlight the plan:
Page 12: Acronyms and definitions
Page 32: Outlines targets for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Page 33: Six mitigation strategies for combatting greenhouse gas emissions
Pages 34-39: Methods for those strategies and status of the efforts