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27 April 2016

San Diego to become largest US city to switch to 100% renewable energy

San Diego is set to become the largest city in the United States to run on 100 per cent renewable energy after the mayor Kevin Faulconer announced his support for a 2035 target.

The city is embracing clean energy including solar and wind power and is also aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

The plan will go before San Diego’s Democrat-dominated council in December and would see the eighth largest city in the US adopt bicycle schemes, environmentally friendly public transport networks, and rooftop solar power systems.

Under the plan, San Diego would make half of its vehicles electric, and nearly 100 per cent of the methane from sewage and water treatment would be recycled.

San Diego ranks second in the US in electricity generation from solar power, and it already sources 40 per cent of its power from renewables.

The plan includes an initiative to increase the city’s tree canopy cover to 35 per cent, which would absorb carbon and provide shade.

San Diego is among a group of cities, including New York and San Francisco, growing impatient with federal government disagreements over environmental and energy policy.

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Faulconer said: “Cities are leading the federal government… They are leading on innovation and policy. The technology is advancing incredibly quickly. We need to have our eyes wide open on this.”

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