Los Angeles

United States
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Elected 2013

Los Angeles in our Blog

The great Italian writer Italo Calvino once wrote “You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” Indeed, throughout human history, people have looked to cities for answers – to questions of economics, trade, public health, culture and education. This week, as national leaders begin to consider how they will deliver on the deal agreed at the international climate negotiations in Paris, they should turn to cities once again for answers.

An op-ed by Eduardo Paes, C40 Chair and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, and Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

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Together these two cities represent nearly 20 milion urban citizens.

Today, during the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group announced the addition of Chinese megacities Guangzhou and Nanjing to its global network of cities tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, whilst increasing well-being for urban citizens.

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United States President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping recently signed an historic deal setting the groundwork for both countries to make significant strides to halt global climate change*. The deal represents unprecedented collaboration between the two nations on climate, yet the agreement does not outline a comprehensive plan to achieve the agreed-upon reductions – which is where cities come in.

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I recently joined the Steering Committee of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. I also recently celebrated the installation of what will be the largest single-rooftop solar power system in Los Angeles county at Forever21: a 5.1 megawatt system that when fully functionally this fall will displace 13 million pounds of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of taking 1,200 cars off the road.  

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In the lead-up to next week’s C40 Mayors Summit, where Climate Adaptation and Resilience will be key themes, we hear from C40’s very own Mandy Ikert about an exciting new collaboration to help cities prepare for the shocks and stresses of climate change.

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At the Port of Los Angeles, energy demand is expected to triple or even quadruple in the upcoming years. The current peak demand of approximately 40 to 60 megawatts may go up to over 180 megawatts because of increases in imported goods, technologies like cold-ironing (when a vessel plugs into shore for power), automated terminals, and the use of electric equipment.

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Mayor of C40 city Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa announced Wednesday the city’s plan — approved Tuesday by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners — to be coal-free by the year 2025. Los Angeles currently meets 39% of its energy demand from two coal plants, one in Utah and another in Arizona. According to the new plan, the Department of Water and Power (DWP) will end the Arizona contract by 2015 and convert the Utah plant to natural gas by 2025.

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Last night, Huffington Post Impact ran a piece by C40-CCI finance director Scott Henderson describing the job creation and energy saving potential in a new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco just recently announced the implementation of innovative, “open-market” PACE programs that have been developed in conjunction with C40 and CCI. Scott had this to say about it:

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It has been two years since the city of Los Angeles launched a major public works project to retrofit the city’s street lighting with energy-efficient LED (light emitting diode) fixtures, marking a good opportunity to assess progress. The project is still the largest LED street lighting retrofit ever undertaken globally; its implementation is ahead of schedule and the energy cost savings are surpassing original projections, largely due to continued improvements in the energy efficiency of LED technology.

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The City of Los Angeles, a C40 City, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced a major expansion of the city’s efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions from the city’s commercial buildings. The LA Commercial Building Performance Partnership will enable building owners to access free energy assessments, as well as financing at competitive rates to cover up to 100 percent of the cost of their energy upgrades. The program builds on PACE (Property-Assessed Clean Energy) Financing programs that have shown success across the country.

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