Letter From Mayor Garcetti

Here in Los Angeles, we know that when we live sustainably, we increase equity, protect the environment, and fortify ourselves in the best of times so we don’t just survive — but thrive — in the face of inevitable challenges.

This past year was marked by a series of milestones in our work to make Los Angeles the most sustainable city in the United States, and the world. I set 61 commitments, and I’m proud to announce that we have achieved — and in many cases, exceeded — 90% of our goals. Here’s a glimpse at some of this year’s defining accomplishments:

  • Launched the BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program, the nation’s largest EV car sharing program for underserved communities. The project works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide low-income communities with clean, affordable transportation options in neighborhoods. Since the first demonstration site opened in June, the City has hosted more than 140 community events to increase awareness and exposure to affordable, clean transportation options.
  • Signed the Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration alongside 11 other C40 Mayors — which pledges to procure only zero-emission buses by 2025 and ensures that a major area of our city will be zero-emission by 2030.
  • Secured $35 million in state funding from the Transformative Climate Communities grant program for a community revitalization project in Watts. The grant will fund an array of projects, including affordable housing, urban greening, emission-free transportation, and energy efficiency retrofit programs.
  • Partnered with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia to sign a joint declaration setting ambitious goals for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to make the transition to zero emissions goods movement in their Clean Air Action Plan, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide relief to communities that have historically borne the burden of poor air quality caused by port-related activities.
  • Passed the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee, which will help Los Angeles double its production and preservation of affordable housing, put incentives in place for more mixed-income developments, and create more than 900 good-paying jobs for Angelenos every year. After its full implementation, the fee is expected to generate $100 million for affordable housing activities.

Los Angeles is a leader on the global stage, much of which is due to our commitment to sustainability. Indeed, climate change is a transnational issue that extends far beyond county and state lines. That’s why when the White House announced the decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, I spearheaded a bipartisan coalition of U.S. mayors committed to upholding the Paris Climate Accord.

Today, the Climate Mayors network is 402 cities strong, spanning 47 states and representing nearly 70 million Americans. And to help Los Angeles uphold the Paris Agreement, we are working together with our partners at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group to ensure our Sustainable City pLAn is compatible with the goals of the agreement.

I am grateful to my fellow Angelenos who have stepped up to conserve water, save energy, and turn to more sustainable methods of transportation. These actions, and others, have helped move the pLAn’s proposals to meaningful actions.

When I released this report in 2015, I committed to a full pLAn refresh every four years so we can evaluate where we’re making progress and how we can be even bolder in our efforts. The next pLAn, scheduled for release in 2019, will fulfill this commitment and feature a refined focus on workforce development and equity to ensure our efforts are felt by every individual across Los Angeles.

Sustainability is so much more than a lens through which we make policy decisions; it is a value that guides everything we do in Los Angeles. We know that today’s decisions will shape the lives of our children and grandchildren tomorrow, and I am inspired by all that we have achieved — and all that we will do — in the work of making ours the most sustainable city in the world.

Sincerely,

Mayor Eric Garcetti