City Climate Plan

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg shakes CPS Energy CEO Paula Gold-Williams’ hand at the announcement of the climate action plan funding. Image: San Antonio Express-News

Funded by $500,000 from CPS Energy, UTSA Navigant Consulting, San Antonio passed its first climate plan in 2019. The City of San Antonio, UTSA, and CPS Energy originally partners on SA Climate Ready, a plan intended to “explore both mitigation strategies … to reduce or prevent the emission of [greenhouse gases], and adaptation strategies … to prepare the community, municipal government operations, and other key sectors for the unavoidable impacts of climate change.”

(Navigant Consulting was inserted into the process after City staff significantly curtailed  UTSA’s duties for reasons never made public.)

The plan was announced soon after Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s election in the summer of 2017, while the partnership’s kickoff event at UTSA’s downtown campus was presented in December 2017 to a packed auditorium.

Mayor Nirenberg was joined by CPS Energy President and CEO Paula Gold-Williams and UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, among others.

The keynote speech was delivered by renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, named by Time Magazine as one of 100 most influential people.

Thanks to NowCast for recording the events.

For a deeper dive into the San Antonio Climate Action and Adaptation Plan…

What Is the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan?

“A Climate Action and Adaptation plan (CAAP) is a strategy document that outlines a collection of measures and policies that reduce GHG emissions based upon a reduction target, as well as evaluates climaterelated impacts and provides strategies to adapt and build resilience. Using the GHG emissions inventory as the foundation, a CAP defines GHG reduction goals based on local priorities for reducing emissions and provides the guiding framework for achieving those goals.”

How will the plan be developed?

“While several methodologies exist for the development of city-scale GHG, the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC Protocol) is considered to be the most thorough and comprehensive. The GPC has been developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI), C40 Cities (a network of the world’s largest cities committed to addressing climate change), and ICLEILocal Governments For Sustainability (a network of more than 1500 cities committed to sustainability). The GPC has already been adopted by the Global Covenant of Mayors. Using the GPC Protocol will facilitate the reporting of the city GHG emissions and allow for comparison to other cities. Therefore, the SA Climate Ready Project will follow the GPC protocol in developing the community-scale GHG inventory. The following sections are based on the GPC protocol’s requirements and suggestions unless otherwise stated.”

Who’s on the Steering Committee and Working Groups?

Members of Climate Action SA moved, guided, and prodded the process along, with some members serving on various committees, while others helped mobilize community support for action. In the end, the coalition accepted an imperfect plan as a win for climate justice and reconvened with an expanded mission to fight for equity-based implementation of its key goals.


View video of all meetings of the Steering Committee and Working Groups