SA Climate Ready

SA Climate Ready is a climate action and resilience plan that lays a roadmap for protecting everything we love about San Antonio. It provides an honest assessment of our current greenhouse gas projections and highlights the places where our city is most vulnerable to impacts like drought, heat waves and displacement. It also outlines some high-impact strategies the city could take to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard our communities from climate impacts in the future.

Our Climate in 2100 under low and high emissions pathways.  Summer max temperature +6 degrees, +10 degrees; Days above 100 degrees +48, +94; Nights over 80 degrees +10, +55; Annual Precipitation in inches -3, -4

Why Should We Adapt?

Preparing for a Changing World

As an inland city, San Antonio will not experience one of the most visible climate change impacts: sea level rise. However, that doesn’t mean that the city is immune to climate change. By the end of this century, we expect San Antonio to be hotter and drier, facing challenges such as water shortages, spiking energy costs, and increased risk for wildfires.

To manage these challenges, it is essential that we have a plan in place that both acknowledges our existing vulnerabilities and identifies high-impact opportunities for improving our resilience.

This chart shows some of the changes we expect to see by the end of the century, depending on how effectively we fight to protect our climate.


 

riverwalk at night

How can we Mitigate our Effect on Climate?

Sample GHG Reduction Strategies

Energy use in buildings accounts for a growing section of our overall emissions. One strategy for reducing this impact would be energy benchmarking, the process of regularly measuring a building's energy use, tracking its performance over time, and comparing its performance to that of similar buildings. Benchmarking data helps owners and tenants understand their building's relative energy and water performance, also helping to identify opportunities for the reduction or elimination of energy and water waste, potentially saving money and improving health and comfort. Other strategies include funding energy-efficient retrofits in older homes and historic buildings, promoting low-impact development, and developing a "Net Zero Energy" (NZE) guidelines for new construction.

In total, SA Climate Ready contains 11 different approaches for reducing building energy consumption.

To learn more about the ongoing initiatives, please visit our energy projects overview.

SA Climate Ready Actions

The actions of SA Climate Ready span both climate change mitigation (reducing our emissions) as well as climate change adaptation (adjusting to the changes we're seeing). The table below summarizes those actions with blue  representing mitigation initiatives and green representing adaptation initiatives. All initiatives are numbered as they appear in SA Climate Ready: A Pathway for Climate Action & Adaptation. Initiatives marked with an 'M' target specific aspects of the municipal government, while the others apply to the broader San Antonio community.

quote: “Equity means that our policy-making, service delivery, and distribution of resources account for the different histories, challenges, and needs of the people we serve. Equity differs from equality, which treats everyone the same despite disparate outcomes.” -City of San Antonio, Equity Office, 2017

Implementing Climate Equity

How Can this Plan Work for Everyone?

Due to different histories and challenges in the City of San Antonio, not all community members are contributing equally to climate change and not all community members have the same resources or capabilities to protect themselves from its negative effects. A climate equity framework prioritizes the communities burdened the most by climate change, those that contribute the least to climate change, and those most socially vulnerable to climate change. 

Climate equity ensures that these communities play a central role in the just transformation of the systems that have established, and continue to perpetuate, the unequal burden of climate impacts. This means that intentional policies and projects to mitigate or adapt to climate change must:

  1. Actively seek, include, and prioritize direction from these communities.
  2. Prioritize benefits to these communities.
  3. Reduce existing burdens and bar additional burdens to these communities.

Learn more about the Racial Equity Indicators Report, Equity Matrix and other tools developed by the Office of Equity used to develop SA Climate Ready.

Reduction Pathways

Impact of SA Climate Ready Actions

The chart below depicts the different sections of SA Climate Ready and their potential greenhouse gas reduction path. Click the strategies in the legend to turn them on and off, you’ll be able to see the impact they make towards meeting our target.

SA Climate Ready logo

How was this Plan Developed?

Our Community Engagement

SA Climate Ready was developed in close collaboration with residents and key stakeholders. In addition to interviews, we distributed four different surveys on topics related to the development of this plan. A total of 6,557 surveys were completed, allowing us to understand the public's key concerns regarding climate change and identifying priority strategies and policies .

Our Priorities — Reducing our Contribution to Climate Change

Mitigation Strategies

Mitigation strategies have the goal to reduce the amount and speed of future climate change by reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By reducing our collective emissions, we reduce the extent to which we will have to adapt to climate impacts in the future.

Our Priorities — Reducing the Impact of Climate Change

Adaptation Strategies

Adaptation is the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects

SA Tomorrow Sustainability Plan

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It is an exciting time for climate action in San Antonio! Follow us on social media to track our progress, receive updates about the ongoing initiatives and hear about fun events.

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