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Los Angeles Mayor Introduces Plan to Reduce City's GHG Emissions By 35%

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in partnership with the Los Angeles City Council and environmental leaders, unveiled GREEN LA—An Action Plan to Lead the Nation in Fighting Global Warming.

GREEN LA, which incorporates more than 50 initiatives, is designed to reduce the City of Los Angeles’ greenhouse gas emissions by 35% below 1990 levels by 2030. A 35% reduction by 2030 goes beyond the targets set in the Kyoto Protocol and is the biggest reduction target of any large US city. The plan relies on increasing the city’s use of renewable energy to 35% by 2020.

The unique characteristics of Los Angeles’ municipal government offer an unprecedented opportunity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ownership of the largest municipal utility in the country allows the City to directly affect a major source of greenhouse gases—electricity production.

Transportation is a major issue for Angelenos, and the plan calls for reducing the carbon intensity of transportation by requiring 85% of the city fleet to be powered by alternative fuels by 2010. In addition, 100% of the transit buses will be converted to alternative fuels.

The plan also emphasizes alternatives to single-passenger car driving, such as boosting Flyaway services serving the Los Angeles International Airport and other regional airports; converting existing Flyaway buses to alternative fuels; expanding City employee rideshare program; and extending the regional rail network.

Other transportation and mobility-related aspects of the plan include completing the strategic plan for the Port of Los Angeles, including sustainable and green growth options; and greening the airports. The airports initiative will include evaluating options to reduce aircraft-related greenhouse gas emissions.

The other elements of the plan are:

  • Green the Power from the Largest Municipal Utility in the US

    • Increase renewable energy from solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal sources to 20% by 2010 and 35% by 2020.

    • Not renew contracts for power imports from coal-fired plants.

  • Transform Los Angeles into the Model of an Energy Efficient City

    • Complete energy efficiency retrofits of all city-owned buildings to meet a 20% or more reduction of energy consumption.

    • Install the equivalent of 50 “cool roofs” per year by 2010 on City buildings.

    • Improve energy efficiency at drinking water treatment and distribution facilities.

  • Help Angelenos Conserve Energy

    • Distribute two compact fluorescent light bulbs to each City household.

    • Increase the level and types of customer rebates for energy efficient appliances, windows, lighting, heating and cooling systems.

    • Expand the distribution of energy efficient refrigerators to qualified customers.

  • Decrease Per Capita Water Consumption by 20 Percent

    • Meet all additional demand for water resulting from growth through water conservation and recycling.

    • Implement the City’s innovate water and wastewater integrated resources plan.

  • Create a More Livable City

    • Promote high-density housing close to major transportation arteries and public transit train and bus lines.

    • Support and implement transit oriented development.

    • Clean up brownfield sites for community economic revitalization projects and open space opportunities.

  • Shift from Waste Disposal to Resource Recovery

    • Recycle 70% of trash by 2015.

  • Unpave Paradise

    • Create 35 new parks by 2010 and work with schools to build more parks in their communities.

    • Revitalize the Los Angeles River to create more open space opportunities.

    • Plant one million trees throughout the City of Los Angeles.

    • Develop locations for storm water infiltration to recharge groundwater aquifers.

  • Catalyze the Growth of the Green Economic Sector

    • Promote local research, development and production of green technology.

    • Strengthen global economic relationships to secure investment in Los Angeles’ green sector and help environmentally-focused companies penetrate local and foreign markets.

    • Identify locations for green businesses and offer effective incentives for the growth of these businesses.

    • Train residents of low and middle income communities, local university students and participants in adult education programs for jobs in the green economy.

  • Climate Proof Los Angeles

    • Develop comprehensive plans to prepare for climate change impacts on the City, including increased drought, wildfires, rising sea levels, and public health threats.

    • Review current zoning and building codes to minimize climate change impact.



It sounds like the mayor is on to a good issue here. He got off to a rocky start with the school systems, but now seems to be working on one of the issues that a lot of people care about...quality of life and sustainability. We new back on the first Earth Day in the early 70s that the environment and quality of life would be big issues. It took American a while to get here, but at least it is.

Kit P

What a hoot!! LADWP used to get 75% of its electricity from coal and was the number one gouger of its private power neighbors during the 2000/2001 California energy crisis. This is their plan, “Not renew contracts for power imports from coal-fired plants.”

If the coal plants keep running it will keep producing the same amount of ghg no matter who buys the electricity.


Kit... while true that not renewing contracts is unlikely to shut down any existing coal plants, if enough cities/regions made this decision it would impact new project development.

kit p

R-hap, are you suggesting that multiple ineffective plans will result in an effective plan? In the last 30 years and especially since the 2001 debacle, LA has shown zero environmental leadership.


Yep, I guess that is what I'm saying, that multiple steps taken independently that wouldn't on their own be total solutions can add up to solving a problem. We had better hope that theory works, because there is no global organization that can force all of the change that is going to have to happen if we are to avert serious climate problems. So we're counting on actions from a lot of independent decisions to add up to something.


I just checked out LA DWP web site. They already get approximately 8% of electricity from renewable sources. This is better than the 5% overall in the state. Granted, due to lack of hydro in Southern Cal, the percentage of coal is 47% vs 38% for the state.

I see nothing wrong with the city making the statement that they are going to reduce the reliance on coal. Given California's abundance of renewable resources, I'd want to have some very strong justification for any new electricity sources being non-green.


If you want to know how which of the 50 largest US cities have the most renewable energy, check out:


pretty good roundup.


For daily updated news on biofuels, ethanol and climate change issues, please visit:


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