Community Assemblies / Climate Emergency Mobilization Office / Building Decarbonization / L.A.s Green New Deal

MOTION-- Climate change is a rapidly-worsening global emergency already affecting communities throughout Los
Angeles, particularly low-inco:q1e renters and communities of color, who disproportionately experience the
impacts of extreme heat, pollution, and environmental degradation. Decades of local, state, and federal policy
have placed unequal burdens on these communities while affording benefits to others. Without equity-focused
policy intervention, climate change will only exacerbate these historic environmental injustices.

The City must expand its bold efforts to eradicate the existing pollution that plagues vulnerable communities
and thereby combat climate change. Building decarbonization, a city-wide goal outlined in L.A.'s Green
New Deal, represents one of the biggest opportunities to accomplish both goals. In Los Angeles, buildings
account for 43% of all carbon emissions -more than any other sector.

However, many well-meaning policies to combat climate change and pollution have left low-income
communities with higher energy bills and worse air quality due to a disparity in access to energy efficiency
programs. In addition, the loss of jobs in multiple sectors that are replaced with 'green' jobs do not guarantee
high quality employment, particularly for the communities that have historically been excluded from such
career opportunities.

Thoughtful consideration must also be taken to prevent exacerbation of Los Angeles' housing and
homelessness crisis. According to a 2019 study of LA's Promise Zones in Central and South L.A., 73% of
renters are "housing burdened," and, according to a 2020 study by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy, 21% of renters are "energy burdened." Across the City, many renters are on the
brink of displacement as a result of COVID-19-related job loss. Existing City laws and programs allow
landlords to pass the upfront costs of building improvements onto tenants. Safeguards must therefore be
put in place to prevent unintended negative consequences of decarbonization, such as increased rent
burden, housing unaffordability, and displacement.

In order for climate legislation to succeed in making truly positive change; frontline communities should
be front and center in the policy-making process and City leaders· should pursue energy and housing
justice principles that prevent future harm and proactively benefit communities that have suffered
disproportionate historic burdens. Taking into account key energy and housing justice principles, the
City's building decarbonization efforts should:

• Not lead to evictions, rent burden, energy burden, harassing conduct against tenants, or
displacement; thereby exacerbating our homelessness crisis;

• Not replace carbon-based infrastructure with technologies that create other local air,
environmental, or climate pollutants;

• Equitably distribute the benefits and burdens of the transition;

• Ensure that decarbonization technologies and information Will be accessible and affordable for all, and
will ensure that the communities with the worst pollution and climate burdens reap the full benefits;

• Be informed and shaped by the needs and priorities of local communities and experts, leveraging
local networks and expertise to ensure equitable and effective adoption; ·

• Create jobs that are well-paid and unionized, where targeted local hiring will ensure a just
transition for workers from impacted industries and historically excluded communities;

• Ensure that energy efficiency improvements decrease energy burdens in historically- excluded
communities and provide real bill savings at no additional cost.

The Climate Emergency Mobilization Office (CEMO), which was established to incorporate the voices of
vulnerable communities into policy decisions, will ensure that outreach to and input from vulnerable and
frontline communities is adequate to design equitable policies. The CEMO is preparing to host a series of
Community Assemblies in early 2022 to discuss technical and regulatory strategies to decarbonize
buildings and to collect community feedback and recommendations on setting and achieving aggressive citywide building decarbonization goals, in alignment with energy justice and housing justice principles.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council instruct the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office to:

o Incorporate findings from its Community assemblies and report back within 120 days with
recommendations for the implementation of all carbon emission elimination strategies in new and
existing buildings in the City of LA in accordance with the energy and housing justice principles
listed above; and,

o Work with the Climate Emergency Commission and either stakeholders as articulated above to
identify equity metrics and goals for measuring community benefits and burdens and provide policy
recommendations for distributing the benefits and burdens of the building transition equitably.

I FURTHER MOVE that the City Council instruct the Department of Building and Safety to:

o Participate in the CEMO Community Assemblies with attention toward integrating recommendations
into strategies for achieving zero- carbon buildings and report to Council in 120 days on meeting the
energy and water efficiency goals outlined in LA's Green New Deal, in accordance with the energy ·
and housing justice principles;

o Conduct a parallel process of engagement with technical experts and key stakeholders from the
commercial and institutional buildings sectors, and report back to Council in 120 days on the ·
development of technical recommendations and best practices for revisions to the City's existing '1'\
Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance to achieve zero-carbon buildings and meet energy
and water efficiency goals;

o In cooperation with the Bureau of Contract Administration and other relevant agencies, consult with
workers and labor union representatives for workers in industries impacted by the decarbonization of
buildings to develop strategies to mitigate ·and offset any potential impacts to construction jobs
through programs and/or policies that would lead to the creation of new, quality jobs for workers
working in impacted industries,

I FURTHER MOVE that the City Council instruct the Housing Department to:

o Participate in the CEMO Community Assemblies with attention toward integrating recommendations
and report back on opportunities to. strengthen enforcement of housing security provisions alongside
decarbonization actions in accordance with the energy and housing justice Principles;

o Conduct a parallel process ·of engagement with multifamily residential buildings stakeholders
including apartment owners., affordable housing owners, tenant representatives, and the housing
development industry and report back in 120 days with recommendations for meeting zero carbon
buildings goals. ·

o Identify federal, state, and local regulations and policies governing LA's affordable rental housing
(including deed-restricted housing, public housing, and naturally- occurring affordable housing) and
report back to Council in 120 on laws or policies that may impact the ability of affordable housing
providers to conduct transformational building retrofits.

o Identify state and local regulations governing LA's rental housing stock that may allow the costs of
building retrofits to be passed onto vulnerable tenants and impact their: ability to stay housed and
report back within 120 days on ways to change them to better protect tenants.

I FURTHER MOVE that the City Council request the Department of Water and Power to:

o Participate in the CEMO Community Assemblies with attention toward integrating
recommendations into the development of incentive programs for building decarbonization in
accordance with the energy and housing justice principles.