San Diego: Meeting the SDGs and Paris Commitments

The SDG Policy Initiative leverages faculty and student research to partner with San Diego’s local governments, supporting policy-making that works towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. We aim to lay the groundwork for university-government partnerships across the U.S. to support meeting the SDGs and a zero-carbon future.

Regional Decarbonization Framework

SDGPI is working with the County of San Diego on technical and policy pathways to decarbonization

SDG Data Reporting and Policymaking

SDGPI is working to use the SDGs as a framework for measurement, gap analysis, and cross-sectoral policy and budgetary coherence.

Local governments are stepping up to meet the challenges of sustainable development and climate change. The SDG Policy Initiative is engaged in several ongoing projects that work toward achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals in ways that increase accountability, collaboration, and a stronger connection to research.

San Diego Regional Decarbonization Framework

Achieving decarbonization in San Diego requires coordinated action at every level of government. San Diego County has committed itself to meet this challenge through a Regional Decarbonization Framework (RDF) that will establish technical and policy pathways to deep decarbonization in land use, power, buildings, and transportation sectors. The SDG Policy Initiative is leading a coordinated effort of local universities, experts, stakeholders, and local government officials. Beyond San Diego, the RDF can provide an example of how to plan for, and implement, deep decarbonization at the regional level. 

RDF Research Areas

Power

Land Use

Transportation

Buildings

Jobs

Policy

Partnerships

SDG Data Reporting and Policymaking in San Diego

Developed by all 193 UN member countries, the SDGs aim to address social inequality, economic growth, and environmental sustainability through an integrated framework of 17 goals with 169 targets. While initially designed for national governments, a growing list of cities, states, civil society organizations, and private companies have adopted the SDGs as their core strategic framework. These include Los Angeles, New York City,  and a statewide implementation in Hawai’i. In the private sector local companies such as Qualcomm and Illumina, have aligned their Corporate Social Responsibility targets to the SDGs.

SDG Data Reporting

The SDG Policy Initiative is working towards SDG alignment in San Diego that can integrate competing and overlapping plans on transportation, homelessness, health, climate change, and housing. SDG data reporting, the first step towards alignment, allows for the sharing of data across agencies and with the public. Greater access to data can inspire new research or projects that advance sustainability goals. 

Voluntary Local Review

San Diego can follow LA, NYC, and 22 cities worldwide, in pursuing a Voluntary Local Review – an accounting of the city’s progress that can build consensus on a vision of the future of San Diego. VLR’s are submitted to the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York City.

Policy Implementation

With reporting and measurement in place, the SDG framework can be integrated into policymaking processes. City actions can be measured against progress toward regional goals.

The iterative process of measurement, review and implementation can elevate San Diego onto the global stage, provide data-driven solutions, integrate plans, and bring together partners around a vision for the future of San Diego that prioritizes sustainability with equity and justice at its core.

Student Blog Posts on the SDGs in San Diego

Land Use Policy for a More Sustainable San Diego

Local policymakers looking to address local goals of increasing housing and congestion while also achieving the SDGs can prioritize land use in the area surrounding light rail stations in San Diego As the urgency to address climate change increases at the global level, pressure is building to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation at the local level, which accounts for 23% of energy-related emissions globally and 54% of GHG emissions locally. In addition to

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