San Diego's Environmental Committee voted Thursday to approve a resolution that declares San Diego in the midst of a climate emergency for the city.
The resolution, which is mostly symbolic, passed 3-1 with Council Member Scott Sherman the only vote dissenting.
The resolution acknowledges the threat of climate change on the city and its residence and declares the city's commitment to reducing carbon emissions, though it doesn't approve any action to be taken.
The committee's chair, Council Member Jennifer Campbell, says the city of San Diego's biggest environmental threats -- wildfires, drought, sea-level rise and cliff erosion -- are all factors of climate change.
"It’s way past time to sound the alarm, that’s why it’s time to declare a climate change in San Diego,” Campbell said. “We have to be aware of sea-level rise because that’s eating away at our cliffs and beaches. San Diego has had 9 inches of sea-level rise in the last 100 years.”
At least a dozen California cities and hundreds nationally that have already declared climate emergencies.
Declaring an emergency resolution allows the city to better focus its efforts on educating citizens about climate change, which would, in turn, lead to more conservation, Campbell said.
The declaration also allows the committee to better set goals to meet San Diego's Climate Action Plan. The plan, which aims to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035, was passed unanimously in 2015.
The Environmental Committee is made up of council members Campbell, Sherman, Vivian Moreno, Barbara Bry.