On September 1, the Los Angeles City Council took the historic step of requiring that 100 percent of the city’s electricity come from clean, zero-carbon energy by 2035. Through a motion I introduced with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power — the largest municipally-owned utility in the country — will lead the nation in this ambitious and game-changing commitment to sustainable energy.
The Council today also approved our related motion that will create a strategic plan for the green energy workforce, ensuring that our steps toward a better environment will also create a stronger and more equitable economy with thousands of good new middle-class jobs.
Today’s actions are the outgrowth of a planning process I initiated five years ago, through a motion I co-introduced with my colleague Mike Bonin. That process, which became known as LA100, involved unprecedented research and modeling in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The study proved that 100 percent clean energy is not only feasible, it is highly beneficial to the economy and jobs as well as the environment.
Clean energy is not only about climate change. By committing to a clean energy future, the Council is also saving LA lives with improved local air quality, protecting LA neighborhoods from power plants burning fossil fuel, and creating over ten thousand new, good-paying jobs in the sustainable economy of the 21st Century.
The LADWP has already taken extraordinary steps toward achieving its 100 percent clean energy goal, laying the groundwork to accommodate more than a half million electric vehicles and adding over 1,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. 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. 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.