Mayor Garcetti releases third annual Sustainable City pLAn progress report

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today unveiled new progress on his Sustainable City pLAn at Los Angeles Business Council’s annual Sustainability Summit. Los Angeles experienced remarkable progress on the plan, with an 11 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 and created 7,464 green jobs — a 31% increase over the last year.

“From record advancements in zero emissions transportation and renewable energy to transformational projects in communities that need them most, we have had a banner year of progress in L.A.,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Today’s report sends the message that Los Angeles is delivering on its commitment to climate leadership and to building an equitable, livable city.”

Mayor Garcetti introduced the Sustainable City pLAn in 2015 to outline his vision of a more sustainable, prosperous, and equitable Los Angeles. The third annual report on the pLAn shows that the City has made tremendous progress toward meeting its goals — meeting or exceeding 55 of the 61 targets set for 2017 and two goals set for 2025.

One highlight of the numerous updates announced in the report is Los Angeles’ 11 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 — an indication that the City is on track to meet its ambitious goal of a 45% reduction by 2025. The decline lowers L.A.’s greenhouse gas emissions per capita to 6.7 metric tons of CO2e — just one-third the national average.

The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is largely due to a shift away from coal-powered energy, as well as an increasing amount of renewable sources, such as the 250 MW Beacon solar project in the Mojave Desert and the Westmont solar project in San Pedro — the most powerful rooftop solar project in the world. This transition has helped lift Los Angeles’ green economy to new heights — helping add 7,464 green jobs in the last fiscal year — and a total of more than 28,500 cumulative green jobs since Mayor Garcetti took office.

“When Mayor Garcetti released the Sustainable City pLAn in April of 2015, he set into motion unprecedented collaboration and focus to bring environmental health, economic opportunity, and equity to Los Angeles,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Lauren Faber O’Connor. “At a time when the Federal government has turned its back on environmental protection, Mayor Garcetti is not just staying the course — he’s leading it.”

When the White House decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement in June of 2017, Mayor Garcetti led a bipartisan coalition of U.S. mayors to ensure that the goals remained a focal point for cities across the country. Today, the Climate Mayors coalition has grown to 402 cities strong, spanning 47 states and representing nearly 70 million Americans.

The report also highlights some of this year’s defining accomplishments:

  • Reclaimed the top spot on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings.
  • Launched the BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program, the nation’s largest EV car sharing program for underserved communities. The program reduces greenhouse gas emissions and provides low-income communities with clean, affordable mobility options.
  • Secured $35 million in state funding for Watts from the Transformative Climate Communities grant program. The grant will fund an array of projects, including affordable housing, urban greening, emission-free transportation, and energy efficiency retrofits.
  • Partnered with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia to set ambitious goals for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to transition to zero emissions goods movement, a commitment which the Ports incorporated into their Clean Air Action Plan update.
  • Passed the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee, which will help double production and preservation of affordable housing, put incentives in place for more mixed-income developments, and create more than 900 good-paying local jobs every year.
  • Reduced annual sewer spills to 74 total – the fewest of any big city in the country, exceeding the original pLAn goal of 100 or less by 2025.
  • Convened the first meeting of the 100% Renewable Energy Advisory Group – including universities, non-profits, neighborhood councils, businesses, and the U.S. Department of Energy – to launch an unprecedented analysis to determine how the City can fully transition its electricity generation to renewable energy.

When the pLAn was released in 2015, Mayor Garcetti committed to a full pLAn update every four years to evaluate progress and incorporate new goals and innovative ideas.

To read the full third Annual Report or to download the Sustainable City pLAn, visit plan.lamayor.org.