Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti isn’t waiting for Congress to act on the threat of climate change. Today he introduced the city’s own version of the Green New Deal, which establishes goals of a zero carbon grid, zero carbon transportation, zero carbon buildings, zero waste, and zero wasted water by 2050.
Citing the environmental disasters the city has faced in recent years, the mayor explains in the 150-page plan that “the scale of our ambitions must meet the magnitude of this crisis.”
“Politicians in Washington don’t have to look across the aisle in Congress to know what a Green New Deal is — they can look across the country, to Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a news release. “With flames on our hillsides and floods in our streets, cities cannot wait another moment to confront the climate crisis with everything we’ve got. L.A. is leading the charge, with a clear vision for protecting the environment and making our economy work for everyone.”
Building upon the Sustainable City Plan introduced in 2015, this new version raises the bar with goals of recycling 100 percent of the city’s wastewater and zeroing out carbon emissions generated by buildings, transportation, electricity, and trash, with a heavy focus on mobility, public transit, zero emissions vehicles.
L.A.’s Green New Deal sets ambitious targets along its path to carbon neutrality, including plans to:
- Increase electric vehicles in the city to 25% by 2025; 80% by 2035; 100% 2050
- Convert all city fleet vehicles to zero emission where technically feasible by 2028
- Install 400 EV chargers at City buildings and parks and all libraries and install 500 additional streetlight EV chargers.
- By 2021, Ensure that 100% of the City’s new light duty purchases are electric and Meals on Wheels new program vehicles are electric.
- Ensure that 100% of medium duty trash and recycling trucks are zero emission by 2028
- Distribute 1,000 used electric vehicle (EV) rebates, 11,500 Level 2 EV charger rebates, and 75 DC fast charger rebates,
- Install 10,000 publicly available EV chargers by 2022 and 28,000 by 2028
- Build 20 Fast Charging Plazas throughout the city
- Electrify 10% of taxi fleet by 2022; and 100% by 2028
- Target 100% Zero Emission school buses in Los Angeles 2028
- Target 100% of urban delivery vehicles are zero emission 2034
- Electrify 100% of Metro and LADOT buses by 2030.
Exact details and funding for programs aren’t given in the sustainability plan, but the City will need help of the community and private sector to execute this strategy. They’ve partners with several organizations, such as Liberty Hill Foundation, which may offer significant rebates (potentially up to $14,000) to individuals or families to purchase new or used electric vehicles, and are working with URB-E to replace gasoline-powered delivery vehicles with a foldable electric scooter for some last-mile goods delivery with zero emissions.
Public transit is also expected to play a role in reducing pollution and congestion, and will introduce expanded services and new routes that aim to increase ridership by 90% and add 112 electric buses to the DASH fleet to improve connections between regional bus and rail services. To get cars off the road, the city will conduct a congestion pricing pilot program in 2025.
Mayor Garcetti also introduced a Jobs Cabinet that will help fill an estimated 400,000 positions expected to be created by 2050 in the transition to renewable energy and carbon neutrality, including installing solar panels and constructing energy-efficient homes. Growing the publicly available EV charging infrastructure in L.A. alone is expected to support 1,500 jobs by 2025.