Sustainability

Mayor Garcetti released the city’s first-ever Sustainable City pLAn in 2015, and Los Angeles is delivering on its bold targets: surpassing goals for cutting water use and installing publicly-accessible electric vehicle chargers ahead of schedule; passing the most comprehensive building energy efficiency ordinance in America; and boldly leading the nation in renewable energy and moving to zero emissions transportation — boldly and equitably — with innovative initiatives like electric car-sharing in disadvantaged communities.


AGGRESSIVE TARGETS, STRONG ACTION. Three years into the Sustainable City pLAn, Mayor Garcetti has put the city on track to a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, led L.A. to become the #1 solar city in America — with enough power from the sun to power 82,500 homes and save more than 187,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions — and has committed Los Angeles to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the most ambitious effort by Los Angeles to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. In 2016, Los Angeles experienced remarkable progress, with an 11 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 7,464 new green jobs  — a 31% increase over the last year.

GLOBAL LEADERSHIP. Mayor Garcetti has formed coalitions with mayors across America and the world to devise ambitious goals and undertake bold action to fight climate change.

  • Climate Mayors. Mayor Garcetti co-founded Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of over 400 U.S. mayors representing nearly 70 million Americans from 47 states working together to express and build political will for effective federal and global policy action on climate change.
  • Fossil Fuel Free Streets. Mayor Garcetti and 11 other international mayors signed the Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration, pledging to purchase only zero-emission buses beginning in 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030.
  • C40.  Connecting 80 of the world’s megacities for climate action, C40 is the premier city-led coalition in the fight against climate change. Mayor Garcetti was re-elected for a second term as C40 Vice Chair in September 2017.
  • Upholding the Goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. When President Trump announced his plan to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, Mayor Garcetti announced his plan to adopt it. He has since brought 400 Climate Mayors along, and at home is working toward updating the Sustainable City pLAn to ensure consistency with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

SAVING THE DROP. In the face of a historic drought, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability analyzed water consumption data by ZIP code to focus the Save the Drop conservation campaign on areas with excessive usage. The people of Los Angeles responded, and the city achieved a 20% reduction in water consumption in January of 2017. In response to the Mayor’s 5th Executive Directive to create a more water wise city, the city passed the most stringent water efficiency ordinance in any big city in the U.S. —  requiring a 20% reduction in indoor water use for new buildings and all redevelopments — which went into effect in June 2016.

A MORE SELF-RELIANT FUTURE. Today, more than 50% of our water comes from somewhere else, and Mayor Garcetti is working to reduce L.A.’s dependency on imported water — by cutting purchased water imports in half by 2025, and producing 50 percent of our city’s water locally by 2035. To help turn this goal into reality, the Mayor broke ground on a water remediation facility in North Hollywood and there are plans for three more remediation projects in the San Fernando Valley to help restore the groundwater basin as a source of safe, high-quality drinking water.

GREENER, CLEANER ECONOMY. Mayor Garcetti led L.A. to achieve his goal of 20,000 new green jobs ahead of schedule — and in his second term continues the mission through new investments in public transportation,  renewable energy, stormwater management, energy efficiency, affordable housing, and recycling. To support this growing economy,  L.A. has attracted $159 million in green investment through the LA Cleantech Incubator.

HERE COMES THE SUN. Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, L.A. was named the #1 solar city in America. L.A. now has 325 MW worth of installed local solar capacity and counting  — enough to power 82,500 homes. The Westmont solar project, completed in June 2017, is the most powerful rooftop solar project in the world due to the innovative design of the photovoltaic panels. The project is made up of more than 50,000 bifacial panels which capture reflected roof light, helping deliver up to 45% more power per square foot over the life of the project than traditional panels.

ELECTRIC AVENUE.  The Mayor is working to electrify LADOT and Metro’s fleets, increase the procurement of electric trucks and buses, and move to zero emissions goods movement. To advance this work, Mayor Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia signed a joint declaration setting ambitious goals for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to make the transition to zero emissions in their Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP).

EASY BEING GREEN. When Mayor Garcetti released his Sustainable City pLAn in 2015, he committed to release annual updates to evaluate where we’re making progress and how we can be even bolder in our efforts. Some of this year’s defining accomplishments include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

CHARGE! When the Mayor released the pLAn in 2015, he committed to installing 1,000 publicly available EV charging stations by the end of 2017 to help make clean transportation less expensive and more convenient.  The City achieved this goal a year early — and today over 1,800 chargers have been installed, with a plan for 10,000 more charging stations over the next five years.

EV RIDERS. L.A. became the first city to roll out an electric car share program designed to serve low-income residents. The pilot will help the city reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing disadvantaged communities with more convenient and affordable clean transportation options. Altogether, it is expected to recruit a minimum of 7,000 new car sharing users, who are expected to sell or avoid purchasing 1,000 private vehicles — reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2,150 metric tons of carbon dioxide. 

ONE STOP EV SHOP. To help cities across the country electrify their fleets, Mayor Garcetti launched the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle (EV) Purchasing Collaborative — a new online portal that lowers the cost of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure by enabling cities to bid on them together in larger quantities. As a result of the new platform, 20 founding Climate Mayors' cities and two counties committed to purchasing 391 EVs — a figure that is expected to grow as the program continues to engage cities across the country. 

WATTS IS WORTH IT. L.A. secured $35 million in state cap-and-trade funding for the Watts Rising project that will decrease greenhouse gas emissions and revitalize the Watts neighborhood through urban greening programs, renewable energy, affordable housing, zero emissions active transportation projects, and energy efficiency retrofits.

SO COOL. L.A. was the first U.S. city to test on-road use of cool pavement to combat urban heat. Since August 2017, the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) has installed over 140,000 square feet of cool pavement.