The decision followed a research and modelling process initiated five years ago which proved that 100 per cent clean energy is not only feasible, but highly beneficial to the economy and jobs as well as the environment.
Los Angeles City Council has set a requirement for 100 per cent of the city’s electricity to come from clean, zero-carbon energy by 2035.
Through a motion introduced by council members Paul Krekorian and Mitch O’Farrell, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) – the largest municipally-owned utility in the country – will lead the nation in this commitment to sustainable energy.
The council also approved a related motion from O’Farrell and Krekorian that will create a strategic plan for equitable workforce hiring, ensuring a just transition to thousands of green new jobs.
The actions follow a planning process initiated by Krekorian five years ago, through a motion he co-introduced with his colleague Mike Bonin, which became known as LA100. It involved considerable research and modelling in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The study proved that 100 per cent clean energy is not only feasible, it is highly beneficial to the economy and jobs as well as the environment.
“As the recent ‘code red’ report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates, we are in the midst of an environmental crisis with no parallel in recorded history,” said Krekorian. “Governments and individuals around the world must act urgently to combat climate change. By its vote, the council has shown the world that Los Angeles is ready to lead this effort.”
“This is not a crisis for the next generation; this is a crisis happening at this very moment – and Los Angeles is firmly committed to leading the way”
He continued: “By committing to a clean energy future, the council is also saving LA lives with improved air quality, protecting LA neighbourhoods from power plants burning fossil fuel, and creating over 10,000 new, good-paying jobs in the sustainable economy of the 21st Century.”
O’Farrell, chair of the council’s Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, & Los Angeles River committee, added: “This is not a crisis for the next generation; this is a crisis happening at this very moment – and Los Angeles is firmly committed to leading the way.
“The terrifying, destructive scale of recent disasters – wildfires, drought, and hurricanes – accelerated by our climate crisis underscores the necessity of today’s actions.
“The City of Los Angeles, led by the city council and our committee on the environment, is treating this crisis with the urgency it requires. We are also ensuring a just transition to thousands of green new jobs with a focus on equity in the workforce.”
Cynthia McClain-Hill, president of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, described the LA100 study as “a unique and pioneering effort”, unprecedented in scale and scope, to model a grid as complicated as LA’s.
“Governments and individuals around the world must act urgently to combat climate change. By its vote, the council has shown the world that Los Angeles is ready to lead this effort”
“The study showed us several viable pathways for achieving 100 per cent renewable and carbon-free energy by 2035 at the earliest," she said.
“With support of our mayor, our city council, and many community members and stakeholders across the city, we’re ready to take the next steps toward a 100 per cent clean energy future. Most importantly, we will begin a study of how to achieve 100 per cent clean power while ensuring equity of the projects, programmes, and services that will be developed as we move forward on this path.”
LADWP has already taken steps toward achieving its 100 per cent clean energy goal, laying the groundwork to accommodate 580,000 electric vehicles and adding more than 1,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030.