Member organizations and citizens representing a broad coalition gathered Wednesday before City Hall in support of the City of San Antonio’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which seeks to remedy the city’s greenhouse gas pollution and propose actions to mitigate climate change effects. The rally included speakers from various community groups as well as a Climate “Flash Choir”. Members of the coalition addressed the city council after the rally during the council’s weekly “Citizens to be heard” session.
In response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Accords in 2017, the mayor and current city council pledged to implement a climate action plan for the city that would be in keeping with the principles and goals of the Paris Accords, namely halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5ºF. A city council vote on the plan, which gathered broad community input and took over a year to formulate, has been twice postponed by Mayor Ron Nirenberg. A grassroots coalition of community groups from across the city have urged the mayor and council for months to vote immediately to approve the plan, rather than delay until the fall, as the mayor has suggested. The Bexar County Green Party, which is a founding member of the Climate Action SA coalition, urges city council and the mayor to act now to address the climate crisis. Specifically, we are calling for the council to require CPS Energy to eliminate the use of coal for electricity generation by 2025 or sooner, and to eliminate the use of all fossil fuels by 2030. We also demand that the plan focus on equity and prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable segments of our community, including historically neglected communities of color on the west, south, and east sides of the city. The plan must also seek to achieve net-negative emissions (i.e. removal and sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide) by 2050.