The organic garden at Qualcomm Technologies' Pacific Center Campus. Photo by Chris Jennewein
The organic garden at Qualcomm Technologies’ Pacific Center Campus. Photo by Chris Jennewein

San Diego celebrated Earth Day on Friday by showing off local clean technology, freeing rescued sea lions and cheering the signing of the landmark Paris agreement on climate change.

Qualcomm opened its latest smart campus to the media, showing off a complex in Sorrento Valley that includes rows of electric vehicle chargers, wirelessly linked temperature sensors and an organic garden that provides some of the food for employee cafeterias.

“This campus is a fantastic test bed for us,” said Ashok Tipirneni of Qualcomm’s Smart Cities and Industrial Internet team. He said Qualcomm is working to commercialize technology for “intelligent buildings,” starting with its own 120 buildings worldwide.

SeaWorld recognized the day by releasing three sea lions rescued in a dehydrated and malnourished condition and rehabilitated over several months in San Diego.

At UC San Diego, political and science leaders met to discuss San Diego’s role in the successful 2015 climate talks in Paris.

“San Diego is at the forefront of climate-related issues,” said Dr. Sandra Brown, vice chancellor for research. “We know that what we do here can have an impact all over the world.”

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who was in Paris for the talks last year, said the California delegation was treated like “rock stars” because of the state’s commitment to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. “I felt really proud to be part of California,” she said.

“California was really looked up to as a leader in Paris,” recalled Peter Zahn, deputy mayor of Solana Beach, who paid his own way to the talks. “In our city of Solana Beach, we’re going to do our part.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown joined dozens of world leaders at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday to participate in events marking the signing of the Paris agreement on climate change..

“While national governments came together to reach a historic climate agreement in Paris last December, it’s up to the world’s states, regions and cities to make it a reality in the years ahead,” said Brown. “The task before us is daunting, but California will continue to lead the charge.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.