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Green LA Plan - 2007: Mayor's Plan

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

We gather because of our collective belief that we all share a responsibility to address a global climate change. Global climate change is a real and gathering threat to our very way of life, here in Southern California and to the earth’s ecosystems.

The city of Los Angeles is but one of the great cities in the world, but our impact on the global environment is huge. City operations alone account for one-fifth of one percent of the world’s carbon dioxide. Point two percent may not sound like much, but it’s roughly equal to the C02 emissions of the entire country of Sweden.

Here in Los Angeles, climate change will likely mean longer and hotter summers, longer droughts, more devastating wildfires and a loss of water that threatens public health and the economy. And so, the time for action is now. Today we present Green L.A., an action plan to lead the nation in fighting global warming...

Everything I did in the legislature and what we do here now—whether it’s Proposition O that we’ve done here in the city or our effort here in the city to address the Clean Air Action Plan—is the most far-reaching anywhere in the world. This isn’t hyperbole. This isn’t just a press conference to announce some of the things we’ve done. There’s no question that L.A. is leading the way, and we’re leading the way together....

Green L.A. will reduce the city of Los Angeles’ greenhouse emissions 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, making L.A. the nation’s leader in fighting global warming. We’re setting the green standard in Los Angeles, reducing our carbon footprint by 30 percent below 1990 levels. It’s the most ambitious goal set by a major American city. To achieve this goal, we’ll reduce energy consumption, transition to renewable power sources, and change the ways that we commute to work and school. We’ll cut smog, we’ll save money on energy costs, we’ll reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, and we’ll create jobs and grow our economy by investing in green technologies.

Angelenos have long been at the forefront of the conservation movement. We recycle more than any large city in the United States of America, diverting 62 percent of our solid waste from landfills, and we set a new goal to increase that to 70 percent by the year 2015. We’re holding our use of electricity steady despite a population growth of 15 percent. We’re already generating 8 percent of our electricity from renewable sources....

When I was informed that the state was moving to 20 percent renewables by 2017, I said, “Well, I want to lead the state, what can we do?” And so we brought together a group of environmental leaders and people that worked in the DWP, and I’ll tell you, nearly half of them said it wasn’t possible—it was too ambitious of a goal. The other half said, “We can do it, but the only way we can do it is to do it together. The only way to do it is really to push the envelope.” And so I sided with the group of environmentalists that were bold and I said, “We’re going to do the 20 percent renewables.” The fact that we moved in two years from 3 percent to 8 percent, the fact that we’re sitting together now, with the contracts and the wherewithal to get to 20 percent renewables by 2010, is a great indication of what bold leadership can do.

We’re going to redesign our parks to increase parks and open space. We’re going to green the L.A. River, we’re going to use water more efficiently, we’re going to create incentives for investments in innovative technologies, we’re going to set new standards for building green and land use planning, and further reduce municipal waste.

It may not be easy to be green, but we can’t be a great global city if we don’t assume global environmental leadership. So, together we’re going to seize the opportunity, we’re going to use the ingenuity, the entrepreneurship, and the perseverance that make Los Angeles the city it is today....

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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