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Climate and Environment

LA Mayor Sees Progress On His Climate Agenda And Expects Continuity

Mayor Eric Garcetti, wearing a suit and tie, stands behind a podium with a sign on the front that reads "LA's Green New Deal.." A solar panel sits at the base of the podium.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announces the progress made in L.A.'s Green New Deal on May 31, 2022.
(Erin Stone
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Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city of L.A. is on its way to achieving ambitious climate goals set in 2019.

Garcetti announced the update to L.A.’s Green New Deal on Tuesday, highlighting where the city has made progress to curb emissions.

Here are some highlights from the mayor's report:

  • L.A. has reduced its planet-heating emissions to 36% below 1990 levels.
  • The city now gets more than 60% of its energy from carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and nuclear. The goal is 100% carbon-free energy by 2035, which is far faster than the nation's overall goal and international goals. 
  • This year, after decades of grassroots action, the City Council outlawed new oil drilling in L.A.  
  • The council recently voted to ban most gas appliances in all new construction. Buildings account for more than 40% of L.A.’s emissions. 

The city has also surpassed its local solar installation goals, invested more than promised in low-income energy efficiency programs and installed more electric vehicle chargers than any other U.S. city, according to the report update.
Garcetti said its proof local governments can lead climate action.

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“It didn’t seem possible that we could reach 100% zero-carbon grid, or to phase out oil drilling in a town that was built on oil,” he said.

But Garcetti said L.A. fell behind on some things during the pandemic, including expanding urban tree canopy in the hottest parts of the city, a critical strategy to safeguard neighborhoods from extreme heat.

Garcetti said he hopes progress won’t stall under the next mayor.

“This has been written by the city of Los Angeles and I would hope that any mayor will be held accountable by the goals,” he said.

Mayoral candidates Karen Bass and Kevin de León have released climate plans, but candidate Rick Caruso has not.

L.A. has inspired climate initiatives around the globe, but overall the world is falling behind as global emissions continue to rise.

Here are some of the other local progress points, according to the mayor’s office:

  • L.A. installed 577 megawatts of local solar, surpassing the goal by 77 megawatts
  • Installed 18,205 commercial EV chargers, exceeding the target by 8,205 — the most of any U.S. city;
  • Installed 36,000 cool roofs, achieving the goal one year faster and exceeding it by 23,000
  • Invested $150 million in energy efficiency programs to renters and affordable housing customers, exceeding the milestone by $50 million
  • Los Angeles World Airports and the L.A. Convention Center have banned single-use plastic water bottles
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