Case Study on The San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative

This Georgetown Climate Center (GCC) case study on the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative (SDRCC) explores how local governments in the San Diego metropolitan region are coordinating across jurisdictional boundaries to prepare for climate change at the regional level.  This case study describes how the SDRCC was formed and has organized its decisionmaking, what local governments and other stakeholders are involved in the collaborative, what roles it is playing to support climate action in the San Diego metropolitan region, and how it funds its activities. These case studies can be used by local and regional governments to help them develop strategies for coordinating across jurisdictional lines to support climate action in their regions

The SDRCC helps coordinate climate initiatives within San Diego County, focusing on local capacity building for the County and its eighteen municipalities. As of 2017, the collaborative has ten member cities plus the County, as well as other public agencies in the region, academia, utilities, and nonprofits and philanthropic organizations. The San Diego region is focused on preparing for the impacts of sea-level rise and increased risks of flooding, increasing temperatures and urban heat islands, increasing water scarcity, and increasing risks of wildfires.

Some of the roles the SDRCC is playing in the region to support adaptation efforts include:

  • helping to convene local government members and other stakeholders to share best practices and coordinate activities;
  • developing partnerships between local governments and universities in the region to deliver climate science and modeling to improve local understanding of climate risks posed to the region;
  • building local capacity through trainings, workshops, and other convenings; and
  • helping to bring funding to the region to help SDRCC members implement projects

This case study outlines the ways that the SDRCC has worked to facilitate climate action planning across the region and recently has been directing a regional “Resilient Coastlines Project” with federal funding to connect and coordinate local sea-level-rise initiatives in the region. The report also describes the benefits and recognition that the SDRCC has helped bring to the region; and it received a Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 for its innovative partnership model.

This case study is part of a series of six case studies that GCC developed to explore lessons that cities and communities across the country are learning as they work together across jurisdictional lines on climate action. Each case study in this series chronicles the roles that these collaboratives are playing to support climate action in their regions, how the collaboratives are helping to align resources and policies among participating jurisdictions, and how they are structured and funded. A synthesis report also explores lessons that can be learned by comparing the efforts of each collaborative on climate policy in their regions.


Publication Date: January 18, 2017

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