person holding clear plastic bottle

Climate Change Is The Most Pressing Challenge Of Our Time

Karin Burns, The CEO of SD Community Power, sits down with to share why climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time, and her passion for working in sustainability and clean energy. Karin is a speaker and panelist at the upcoming Green Summit in San Diego on September 17th, 2022. Register below to see Karin in person.

person holding clear plastic bottle
Photo by Marta Ortigosa on

Tell us a little bit about you and your background:

I joined SDCP in April of this year because I am truly passionate about catalyzing our clean energy future and investing back into our local communities, especially communities of concern. I’ve been working in the CA energy markets for over 7 years, have been working in environmental sustainability for almost 15, and I have been leading organizations in one capacity or another for almost a decade.

I most recently served as Vice President of Corporate Development and previously as Regional Vice President of the Pacific at Franklin Energy and prior as the Chief Executive Officer of Build it Green (BIG), where I oversaw a portfolio of energy efficiency, distributed clean energy, electrification and workforce development programs across CA. 

Prior to BIG I was the Executive Director of Code REDD and the Stand for Trees campaign, a forest carbon trade  & marketing association dedicated to empowering local communities, preserving forests, and protecting wildlife. I was also a Managing Director of clean energy investments at Ambata Capital and I have over a decade of experience in finance. I have a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard, a Masters in Business from Edinburgh Business School, a certificate in Energy Innovation from Stanford, and an undergraduate degree from Duke University.

I am super excited to be relocating to San Diego, to be leading and building this incredible CCA, and to work with all of you to catalyze our clean energy future in San Diego.

Karin Burns, The CEO of SD Community Power.

What is a fun fact about you?

I have spent time on every continent except Antarctica.

Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?

Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time. It will define the future for future generations. We have an opportunity to look back and be proud of what we did to stem its catastrophic consequences and begin to restore the balance, or we can do too little too late and leave a disastrous legacy to our future generations. We have the technology – we need the willpower as a global society to implement the needed changes and build the future that we all want to see.

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

10 years from now – 2032 – San Diego Community Power will be approaching (if not have already reached) 100% clean, renewable energy for all our customers – as our baseline product. Every home will have a smart thermostat; a battery to help shift/shave load from 12-4 to 4-9pm; and an EV charger nearby. Both large-scale and small scale distributed renewable energy will proliferate across the San Diego region. We will be a model for the world in terms of what can be done locally to get to 100%.

What can the average person do to make a difference?

Ok – well a shameless plug for SDCP and other CCAs – the easiest thing a person can do to make a difference is Opt In to their local CCA (if they are not already); and if they are opted in, to opt up to 100% clean, renewable power. For just a couple dollars per month (a cup of coffee really) you can power your home with 100% clean renewable energy.

Learn more about SD Community Power here.

Karin, thank you for sharing your background in clean, renewable energy and why climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time.

Join Karin and other sustainable leaders at The Green Summit by registering here.

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Jack Smith
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