San Diego became the latest major city to ban new gas in homes and businesses, with the city council voting unanimously on Tuesday to prohibit gas in new construction beginning in 2023. The plan, which sets a goal of net-zero emissions by 2035, goes further than many other municipal plans by electrifying nearly all existing buildings over that timeline.
“The window to reverse the dangerous trends of climate change is rapidly closing, and this moment demands aggressive action,” Mayor Tom Gloria said at the public hearing Tuesday. “Implementing this more ambitious plan won’t be easy, but the financial cost and human consequences of inaction are almost unimaginable.”
San Diego, the eighth-largest city in the U.S., joins about 50 other cities in California in instituting policies that would phase out gas hookups in the near-term, making it the third-largest city, after New York, and Los Angeles, which passed its electrification ordinance in June, to do so. In the past week, Eugene became the first city in Oregon to ban gas in new buildings, and Washington, D.C.’s policy, passed in July, was formally signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser.