Letter from the Mayor

My fellow Angelenos,

Mayor Eric GarcettiLos Angeles has always been a city of dreamers and doers — a place that embraces tomorrow with open arms, and sees each new challenge as a chance to secure a brighter future for our children.

There is no doubt: defeating climate change will demand every ounce of Angelenos’ trademark energy, creativity, determination, and drive — and we have to act now.

The United Nations has warned us of the dangers of inaction or incrementalism. But we don’t need a report to confirm what’s right in front of us. The rising temperatures. The pollution we inhale, the flames on our hillsides, the floods on our streets. This crisis is real. This moment demands immediate solutions. This is the fight of our lives.

Our generational battle against climate change is a moral imperative, an environmental emergency, and an economic opportunity. True to form, Los Angeles is rising to the occasion with a plan that will lead the world toward a low-carbon, green-energy future.

Four years ago, I introduced L.A.’s first Sustainable City pLAn — a directive that put us on a path to save our environment, grow our economy, and ensure that Los Angeles remains a city of opportunity for all.

Angelenos are already seeing the results. We became the number-one solar city in America, pioneered new transportation technologies, reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 11% in a single year, and created more than 35,000 green jobs.

The pLAn set us on a course for a cleaner environment and a stronger economy. We have made huge strides in our work to curb climate change, meeting or exceeding 90% of our near-term goals on time or early.

But we have simultaneously seen the dramatic effects of a warming planet in our communities — from oppressive heat waves that endanger our health, to drought and wildfires that have swept across Southern California. It’s time to think bigger.

The scale of our ambitions must meet the magnitude of this crisis. So we are doubling down with L.A.’s Green New Deal and laying out more aggressive goals that will help transform Los Angeles into a carbon neutral city where all Angelenos thrive.

We will lead with bold action on every front, by recycling 100% of our wastewater and zeroing out our City’s main sources of harmful emissions: buildings, transportation, electricity, and trash.

When we hit our targets, we will cut our emissions by an additional 30% above and beyond the path of our original pLAn — the equivalent of the annual emissions of New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong combined.

Our Green New Deal is not just an environmental vision. It is designed to prioritize communities that bear the brunt of climate change first.

I recently announced the establishment of a Jobs Cabinet to help train the next generation of workers in the trades of tomorrow — from installing solar panels and standing up energy-efficient homes to developing new energy technologies — so that Angelenos will be prepared to fill 400,000 good, green jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.

Decades from now, our Green New Deal will have launched careers that will bring pollution to new lows, and power our economy to new highs.

But we can’t simply establish big ticket policy objectives. We need to implement them. That’s why we established the Los Angeles Climate Emergency Commission, which will draw the best ideas from neighborhoods on the front lines of climate change, harness the expertise of scientists, and recommend long-term actions to reduce rising temperatures.

In Los Angeles, sustainability is a core value that guides all of our work, because our survival depends on it.

As Mayor, it is my mandate to create a more livable city, but it is my calling to create a more livable world.

Combating climate change meets both responsibilities.

Los Angeles will continue to set an example for the country to follow, and invest in a future Angelenos want their children to inherit — one that continues to provide opportunity and prosperity to its residents.

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Eric Garcetti