Mayor Garcetti launched Los Angeles’ Green New Deal (2019) — an ambitious update to the city’s first-ever Sustainable City pLAn (2015), and a global model for how local governments can uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. Los Angeles is delivering on its bold targets: surpassing goals for cutting water use and installing commercial electric vehicle chargers ahead of schedule; passing the most comprehensive building energy efficiency ordinance in America; 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.
A GREEN NEW DEAL: Mayor Garcetti launched Los Angeles’ Green New Deal — a comprehensive roadmap to protect our environment, strengthen our economy, and build a more equitable future. The Green New Deal, which serves as an ambitious update to Los Angeles’ first-ever Sustainable City pLAn, sets aggressive goals for the city’s sustainable future, tackles the climate emergency with accelerated targets, strengthens our economy and our middle class, and sets L.A. on course to be carbon neutral by 2050 — solidifying L.A.’s position as the national leader in solar energy, electric vehicle infrastructure, and green jobs and a global leader in upholding the Paris Climate Agreement. Taken together, by 2050, the work and milestones of our Green New Deal are expected to save more than 1,600 lives, 660 trips to the hospital, and $16 billion in avoided healthcare expenses each year.
AGGRESSIVE TARGETS, STRONG ACTION: Every year since the release of the first Sustainable City pLAn in 2015, L.A. has reported on the progress made in achieving our sustainability goals. The Annual Reports ensure rigorous and transparent evaluation of our work and encourage bold action to fulfill our targets. Some of the defining accomplishments include:
- Los Angeles is on track to meet the Paris Climate Agreement and reduce our fair share of global emissions by 2030. L.A.’s greenhouse gas emissions are now 36% below 1990 levels.
- In February 2020, Mayor Garcetti signed Executive Directive 25 “L.A.’s Green New Deal: Leading By Example” to accelerate the work of L.A.’s Green New Deal and ensure City government is leading the way in protecting our environment and growing a green, inclusive economy.
- In April 2021, the groundbreaking LA100 study was released providing a blueprint for achieving Mayor Garcetti’s commitment for a 100% carbon free grid in Los Angeles by 2035.
- L.A. has been ranked the #1 Solar City in America 8 out of the past 9 years with over 577 MW of local solar power installed - enough to power over 156,000 homes.
- Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, LADWP is expanding its renewable portfolio with the Eland Solar and Storage Center - the largest solar and battery storage facility in the country and the Red Cloud Wind Farm - the largest, highest capacity, and the lowest cost wind farm in LADWP’s renewable portfolio.
- Mayor Garcetti established the first-ever Climate Emergency Mobilization Office to amplify the voices of underserved communities in climate action and help fulfill the commitments of L.A.’s Green New Deal.
- With City support, three underserved communities - Watts, Pacoima-Sun Valley, and South L.A. - were awarded over $55 million in California Transformative Climate Communities grants to implement clean energy, urban greening, and workforce development projects.
- Los Angeles now has more electric vehicles and commercial electric vehicle chargers than any other city in America.
- The L.A. neighborhood of Wilmington, alongside the City of Long Beach, was recognized with a $25 million Electrify America Green City award to help meet L.A.’s Green New Deal zero emission vehicles and air quality targets for neighborhoods of greatest need.
- In the face of water shortages, Mayor Garcetti championed the 20% reduction in water use, the 65% increase in local water supply through stormwater capture investments, and the development of groundbreaking water recycling technology at the Hyperion Reclamation Plant.
- For the 10th time, Los Angeles is ranked #1 City for ENERGY STAR buildings in the US, saving $195 million in 2021 through energy efficiency, and L.A. created one of the first and most comprehensive water efficiency and energy benchmarking laws of large U.S. cities.
- L.A. is the first city to pilot a new recycled plastic asphalt process repurposing plastic bottles to repave streets.
- Mayor Garcetti launched Cool Neighborhoods in vulnerable communities that incorporate cooling elements such as cool pavement, shade trees, and bus shelters and tens of thousands of cool roofs have been installed citywide.
- Under Mayor Garcetti, L.A. has become the first North American city to apply the Singapore Index on Cities’ biodiversity and was named the largest city in the U.S. to be certified a biodiversity haven by the National Wildlife Federation.
- Working with community leaders, L.A.’s Green New Deal Neighborhood Council Toolkit was developed to share opportunities for everyone to get involved in building a more sustainable Los Angeles.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP: Mayor Garcetti leads historic coalitions of mayors from around the world to devise ambitious goals and undertake bold, equitable climate action in this make-or-break decade.
C40: Mayor Garcetti served as Chair of C40, the premier global city-led organization in the fight against climate change. C40 is composed of 97 mayors from across the world, representing more than 700 million urban citizens and 25% of global GDP.
As C40 Chair, Mayor Garcetti led efforts to:
- Secure firm commitments to halve global emissions by 2030, on the path to net zero by 2050 - a commitment that has been adopted as a global standard by leading nations & international institutions.
- Declare the beginning of the climate decade and launch the Global Green New Deal, a concept embraced by a broad coalition of cities, youth activists, labor, business & civil society to achieve climate, social, and economic justice.
- Launch the Cities Race To Zero, the UN-backed global campaign and secure commitments from 1,049 cities and local governments to halve global emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050. This collective action represents a total of 722 million people across the globe and has the potential to reduce global emissions by more than the equivalent of the 5th highest emitting country in the world today.
- Establish the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery task force which recognizes that the climate & public health crises are intrinsically linked & places equity at the heart of the recovery.
- Mobilize a call for global assistance from with governments and financial institutions to develop green finance mechanisms to help cities deliver on their commitments to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
- Launch the C40 Green Ports Forum, led by the City of Los Angeles, to look at the supply chains that power the global economy and make smart, sustainable changes to address this significant source of emissions. Through the Forum, the cities and ports of Shanghai and Los Angeles announced a partnership to create the first green shipping corridor between the United States and China to promote zero emission ships on the busiest transpacific route.
- Launch the C40 Green Ports Forum, led by the City of Los Angeles, to look at the supply chains that power the global economy and make smart, sustainable changes to address this significant source of emissions.
- Create the Global Youth and Mayors Forum, a first-of-its-kind platform that brings together youth climate leaders and mayors to work together to shape how the Global Green New Deal can be made a reality in cities across the world, including through the release of a Youth Engagement Playbook.
- Increase accountability for C40 mayors by adopting more ambitious and forward-thinking Leadership Standards.
CLIMATE MAYORS: Mayor Garcetti co-founded Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of over 470 U.S. mayors representing 74 million Americans from 48 states working together to demonstrate meaningful action and express and build political will for effective federal and global policy action on climate change.
To help cities across the country electrify their fleets, Mayor Garcetti launched the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle (EV) Purchasing Collaborative.
SAVING THE DROP: Through the Save the Drop conservation campaign - a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office and LADWP - the City deploys a number of strategies to reach water conservation goals including nearly 20 water rebates for indoor and outdoor water conservation equipment, behavioral change messaging such as limiting shower times, increased enforcement of conservation rules including the deployment of Water Conservation Response Units, recent 2-day/week watering restrictions, and citations for repeat offenders. Since Mayor Garcetti took office in 2013, LADWP customers have saved over 256 billion gallons of water – enough water to fill the LA Coliseum over 900 times, and nearly double the amount of water LADWP uses in an entire year. LADWP has invested hundreds of millions in its rebate programs, and in addition to the increases of the washers and toilets rebate last year, is continuing to look for ways to expand its current programs. For the past decade, LADWP’s turf replacement rebate program has helped Angelenos replace over 51.1 million square feet of turf, which equates to enough water savings to supply 27,500 homes per year.
Since Mayor Garcetti took office in 2013, LADWP customers have saved over 256 billion gallons of water – enough water to fill the LA Coliseum over 900 times, and nearly double the amount of water LADWP uses in an entire year. LADWP has invested hundreds of millions in its rebate programs, and in addition to the increases of the washers and toilets rebate last year, is continuing to look for ways to expand its current programs. For the past decade, LADWP’s turf replacement rebate program has helped Angelenos replace over 51.1 million square feet of turf, which equates to enough water savings to supply 27,500 homes per year.
A MORE SELF-RELIANT FUTURE. At the beginning of Mayor Garcetti’s Administration, only 15% of our water was sourced locally, making us highly dependent on imported water from inside and outside of California. With L.A.’s Green New Deal goal of sourcing 70% of our water locally, we have increased local water supply to 65% through investments in stormwater capture and wastewater recycling. Our boldest initiative, Operation NEXT, focuses on achieving our goal of recycling 100% of our wastewater by 2035. Today recycled water only accounts for 2% of our water, but Operation NEXT will increase that to 35% by 2035 — and the finished project will produce three times more water than the L.A. Aqueduct. These efforts are ensuring a resilient and dependable clean water supply for generations to come.
RENEWABLE POWER: In 2017, Mayor Garcetti initiated the landmark LA100 study - the most comprehensive study ever of an electric grid as complex as L.A.’s. Done in partnership with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, the study assessed the feasibility of running L.A.’s grid on 100% renewable energy within the next 20 years. Utilizing the most cutting-edge analytics and supercomputing, 100 million model runs, and incorporating significant feedback from a formal advisory group of local stakeholders, the answer was a resounding yes - 100% renewable energy in L.A. is achievable, affordable, and reliable.
Based on the LA100 study, Mayor Garcetti announced that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will pursue an 80% renewable and 97% carbon free grid by 2030, and 100% carbon free energy by 2035, 10 years ahead of schedule. The work has already begun with LADWP increasing renewable energy locally and across the Western U.S. We are expanding building electrification, energy efficiency programs, and electric vehicle charger incentives to cut pollution and save people money, while pursuing clean energy innovation to quickly phase out L.A.’s existing natural gas plants. The benefits of this work will be felt for generations to come with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air, improved resilience, and significant public health benefits, including an estimated $1 billion in avoided healthcare costs by mid-century.
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 $695 million in green investments, supported 340 startups, and created 2,565 jobs as of June, 2022 through the LA Cleantech Incubator.
HERE COMES THE SUN: Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, L.A. remains the #1 solar city in America. L.A. now has 577 MW worth of installed local solar capacity and counting — enough to power 156,000 homes. L.A. also has the largest Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) in the nation with 98 MWs of installed solar projects with nearly half located in disadvantaged communities. L.A. continues to innovate, with co-located solar and storage projects coming soon to Angelenos.
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 in 2017 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). To help move forward the CAAP’s 100% zero emission truck requirement for 2035, the Ports started collecting a Clean Truck Fee in 2022 to help drivers offset the cost of new zero emission drayage trucks. In May 2021, electrification of Metro’s G line — one of the most heavily utilized — was completed moving the City closer to its target of 100% zero emission buses at LADOT by 2028 and L.A. Metro by 2030.
CHARGE!: In L.A.’s Green New Deal, the City committed to installing 10,000 commercial and publicly available EV charging stations by the end of 2022 to help make clean transportation less expensive and more convenient. The City surpassed this goal over a year early — and today over 18,000 chargers have been installed, with more to come.
EV RIDERS: L.A. became the first city to roll out an electric car share program designed to serve low-income residents - Blue L.A. This program helps the city reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing disadvantaged communities with more convenient and affordable clean transportation options. Since its launch, over 120,000 trips were taken of which 54% have been for essential trips by low income members. Altogether, the program has reduced over 3,638 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to saving 410,000 gallons of gasoline. An expansion that will more than double the number of cars and chargers is in the works.
TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES: L.A. has secured over $55 million in state cap-and-trade funding and over $200 million in leveraged funds to support investments in Watts, Pacoima, and South L.A. for community-based, sustainability projects. By developing and implementing projects that include urban greening, renewable energy, affordable housing, and anti-displacements plans — to name a few — each community is building upon decades of grassroots organizing and engagement to support the priorities of their residents and deliver meaningful change that revitalizes neighborhoods.
SMART, SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS: L.A. continues to top the national charts as the #1 ENERGY STAR city as rated by the U.S. Dept of Energy, boasting 650 high-performing buildings citywide in 2021. These buildings saved $195 million in energy costs through efficiency savings during L.A.’s 10th year at the top of the list. LADWP leads the way in delivering energy cost savings to buildings of all shapes and sizes. Since Mayor Garcetti took office, 11,420 GWh have been saved in L.A.’s buildings through electric utility rebates and incentives for energy efficiency, saving Angelenos $1.82 billion on their utility bills.
Los Angeles created one of the first and most comprehensive water efficiency and energy benchmarking laws of large U.S. cities, and Mayor Garcetti leads by example on sustainable building materials. Under Executive Directive 25, Los Angeles became the first city to adopt the Buy Clean CA Act, which sets carbon disclosure and performance requirements for building materials used in city projects.
HOME SWEET HOME: Mayor Garcetti has already surpassed his goal to build 15,000 affordable housing units by 2021, but we’re not stopping: by 2035, the city will see 45,000 new units for Angelenos. Through Proposition HHH, land use incentives, and other financial programs, L.A. is delivering affordability for households in need. During the COVID-19 crisis, L.A. delivered over $100 million in rental assistance and secured additional protections for renters like eviction moratoriums and rent increase freezes. The Mayor’s signature “A Bridge Home” program has opened 28 locations for transitional housing serving Angelenos experiencing homelessness, with more in development.
ADDRESSING EQUITY THROUGH INNOVATIVE GOVERNANCE: Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Paul Koretz launched the first-ever Climate Emergency Mobilization Office (CEMO) that embeds a participatory governance model in the City by fostering collaboration with policymakers and community leaders to create opportunities to improve sustainability and resilience at L.A.’s most burdened communities. The CEMO works hand-in-hand with a newly formed Climate Emergency Commission, consisting of frontline communities, indigenous representatives, climate and air quality experts, labor voices, and business leaders, all advising on climate and clean air policy that L.A. implements. Community assemblies will provide a forum for residents to engage with decision makers and provide real time guidance and feedback within impacted communities.
DATA IS POWER: L.A. is now measuring air quality at a hyperlocal level. Over 20 air sensors have been deployed in underserved communities in L.A. that lack air quality data. Watts, Boyle Heights, Wilmington, and South L.A. are all recipients of air monitors that are installed on City street lights and inside library branches located near schools, parks, and areas where families live and breathe. Better tracking of air quality at a neighborhood scale helps increase local awareness of air quality challenges and creates opportunities for developing more targeted solutions that improve health. For the Watts air quality monitoring program, visit the Watts Rising Data Portal.
SO COOL: L.A. has been tackling heat through a multifaceted approach. It was the first U.S. city to test on-road use of cool pavement to combat urban heat and is piloting 13 cool neighborhoods in vulnerable communities incorporating cooling elements such as cool pavement, shade trees, and bus shelters. Additionally, through the new cool roof requirements, 63,000 cool roofs have been installed. Mayor Garcetti hired L.A.’s first City Forest Officer supporting the planting of over 65,000 trees and announced the establishment of L.A.’s first Chief Heat Officer position.
NATURALLY L.A: As a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot, L.A. has redoubled its efforts to protect its ecosystem with the release of L.A.’s Biodiversity Report and L.A.’s Biodiversity Index. L.A. is the first city in North America to apply the Singapore Index on Cities’ biodiversity. L.A. is also piloting a wildlife corridor and has been certified a biodiversity haven by the National Wildlife Federation.
YOUTH VOICES: Mayor Garcetti launched L.A.’s first Mayor’s Youth Council for Climate Action in 2019 to help drive ambitious climate action, raise awareness, and engage Angelenos on the solutions. Since then, the Mayor’s Youth Council for Climate Action has met with local and global leaders to underscore the urgency of the climate crisis and has served as a model for similar climate-oriented youth councils across the country and globally.