Statement on Behalf of the Los Angeles Clean Energy Coalition, regarding Mayor Garcetti’s State of the City
The Los Angeles Clean Energy Coalition is comprised of Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, Global Green USA, Los Angeles Business Council, Pacoima Beautiful, Natural Resource Defense Council, and Sierra Club.
Mayor Garcetti gave his first State of the City tonight, and made strong statements in favor of advancing clean energy and sustainability measures over the next four years. He announced his intention to increase the City’s energy efficiency and renewable portfolio standard, two initiatives that members of the Los Angeles Clean Energy Coalition have been spearheading.
Tonight’s speech was a clear commitment towards a sustainable city, and towards clean energy initiatives that will build green jobs. But if we’re going to hit the goals in the time frame the Mayor laid out, we need to start acting now.
Mayor Garcetti announced that by 2020, one-third of our energy will come from renewable sources. He also committed to increasing energy efficiency by 15% by 2020, and to cut our water imports in half by 2025, which would save people money on their LADWP bills. He also announced his Sunny Skies initiative, which would help streamline solar permitting by allowing residential permitting of solar systems online.
Increasing our commitment to solar energy will be a big part of meeting the City’s renewable goals. Specifically, we support 1,200 megawatts of installed, local solar, including a 600 megawatt feed-in-tariff. A 600-megawatt feed-in-tariff (FiT) would be the largest in the country.
In addition to introducing his environmental priorities, the Mayor also announced two ways that LA is already leading the way. This first included the news from Environment California Research & Policy Center’s report released today ranking the City as #1 nationwide in installed solar power.
“LA is proving that by setting—and achieving—ambitious goals, the city can take critical steps towards a clean energy future,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate at Environment California. “Even so, Los Angeles has barely scratched the surface of its potential to capture this pollution-free energy source. By committing to bold goals and expanding on the smart policies we’ve adopted, we can take solar to the next level and ensure that Los Angeles remains a leader on the national and international stages.”
The Mayor also announced that the City has more ENERGY STAR buildings than any other city in the country.
“At their core, green buildings are about creating healthy, livable structures that benefit everyone,” said Mary Luévano, Interim Executive Director for Global Green USA. “We’re proud to have assisted many of LA’s charter schools in meeting the ENERGY STAR standard, in addition to helping the City create its green building standards in 2008, which laid the framework to make us #1 today.”
The Mayor’s clean energy goals were paired with larger goals to make our cities more sustainable overall, and to focus on livable interconnected streets and neighborhoods.
“Mayor Garcetti’s understands the essential connection between environmental sustainability, economic development and equity. We stand ready to work with the Mayor to achieve the goal of making Los Angeles a national model for developing a clean and sustainable economy that provides substantial benefits for our poorest and most polluted communities,” said Bill Gallegos, Energy Program Director of Communities for a Better Environment.
The speech was an encouraging sign of an Administration committed to environmental protection and community empowerment.
In the Mayor’s own words, ‘Los Angeles does big things’ – nothing could be bigger than reshaping a coal-fueled metropolis into the greenest city in the country.