LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US by population, home to almost four million residents. The city’s sprawling urban style also makes it one of the nation’s largest major cities in land area, covering 469 square miles

Because Los Angeles is so big, it’s home to many microclimates. This means that climate change won’t affect every LA neighborhood the same way; as a rule, valleys and inland areas warm more than areas near the coast, and mountains get more rainfall. If current climate policy continues, temperatures by the end of the century in Los Angeles will be 8.2°F warmer than in 2000. This is a significant problem on it’s own — it doesn’t help that the city of Los Angeles is famous in environmental textbooks for being home to a phenomenon called the heat-island effect; this term refers to when the city’s concrete and pavement of buildings and streets absorbs heat, creating urban “heat islands.” This heat kills around 70 Angelenos every year, a number likely to rise as climate change further elevates city temperatures. Climate change will also make Los Angeles’s drought periods more severe, causing serious damage to the city’s people and ecosystems. 

Though climate change may seem intractable at times, Los Angeles is certainly stepping up to the challenge. In 2019, Los Angeles’ Mayor Eric Garcetti released his city’s own Green New Deal, which sets aggressive goals for the city’s sustainable future, including complete carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan involves building a zero carbon electricity grid, with 80% of its energy from renewables by 2036, mandating that all new municipally owned buildings and major renovations be all-electric, recycling 100%  of the city’s wastewater by 2035; sourcing 70% of the water locally, and planting and maintaining at least 90,000 trees (which will provide 61 million square feet of shade) severely decreasing the heat island effect. The City has already met or exceeded 90% of the plan’s near-term goals on time or early, and Angelenos have seen the results: L.A. became the number-one solar city in America, pioneered new transportation technologies, reduced the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 11% in a single year, and created more than 35,000 green jobs. More here

Los Angeles has also developed separate solar incentive programs, 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 Los Angeles will be emissions-free by 2030), installed 2,100 publicly available electric vehicle charging stations (the most of any US city) with a plan for another 10,000 by 2022, and created a plan to purchase all electric vehicles for use as trash trucks, street sweepers, shuttles, semis, and buses. More here

The city already relies heavily on renewables, with 35% of energy consumption coming from solar, wind, and hydraulic power. LA is especially a leader in solar power with only 18% of the city’s electricity coming from coal. Natural gas is still Los Angeles’s main source for manufacturing, heating, and cooking.  

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Ports of Long Beach, LA team up with Singapore to create green shipping corridor

11/07/22
As part of a global challenge initiated by the United States and Norway this week, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have partnered with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to…

Battery Storage Firm GridStor Buys Los Angeles Basin Projects from Upstream Energy

10/31/22
GridStor, a developer and operator of grid-scale battery energy storage systems, bought a portfolio of storage projects currently in development in the greater Los Angeles area from Upstream Energy of San Diego.

South L.A. among communities awarded state grants for climate projects

10/29/22
South Los Angeles is among 10 communities across California that will be awarded financial support to help combat the effects of climate change.

Los Angeles Just Became the Largest US City to Join the Plant Based Treaty

10/19/22
What if plant-based food was the norm in massive cities like London, Beijing, and Los Angeles? The organizers behind the Plant Based Treaty (PBT) say the world would be in much better shape in many…

LA County electric utility to move to 100% renewable energy over 2-3 years

01/21/22
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to shift from 50% to 100% renewable energy for county facilities and Clean Power Alliance customers in unincorporated areas over the next two to three years.

Los Angeles Launches Initiative to Remove Fossil Fuels from Buildings

12/13/21
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, and Nithya Raman, in partnership with the Leap LA Coalition and the RePower LA Coalition, announced the legislative launch of a community engagement process that…

L.A. County Will Shut Down Miles Of Urban Oil Fields

09/20/21
Los Angeles County took a step toward a complete ban on oil and gas production within its borders after the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved on Wednesday a motion to phase it out on unincorporated land.…

Newsletter: A hydrogen hub in Utah could power L.A.’s climate future. Now Chevron wants in

09/16/21
This is the Sept. 16, 2021, edition of Boiling Point, a weekly newsletter about climate change and the environment in California and the American West. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

LA County Board of Supervisors Passes Historic Measure to Begin Phase-Out of Oil Drilling

09/15/21
Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in support of a measure to begin the process of phasing out oil drilling on unincorporated Los Angeles County land. There are more than 1,600…

LA approves 100% clean energy by 2035 target, a decade ahead of prior goal

09/02/21
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to transition to 100% clean energy by 2035, in line with President Biden’s national goals and a decade earlier than the city originally planned.

Achieving 100 Percent Clean Electricity in California: An Initial Assessment

05/17/21
The California Energy Commission’s primary functions include forecasting electricity and natural gas demand for state planning, siting and licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or greater, investing in energy innovation, setting the state’s appliance and…

Los Angeles Region Report from California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment

02/25/20
The Los Angeles Region Summary Report is part of a series of 12 assessments to support climate action by providing an overview of climate-related risks and adaptation strategies tailored to speci c regions and themes.…

Santa Monica Climate Action Adaptation Plan

04/02/18
The City Council directed staff to develop a plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner. The CAAP is the first phase of that work and includes proposed policies and measures that would help…

L.A.’s Green New Deal

01/31/20
L.A.’s Green New Deal is an expanded vision for our pLAn—securing clean air and water and a stable climate, improving community resilience, expanding access to healthy food and open space, and promoting justice for all—and…

KEY RESOURCES

Climate Resolve

02/25/20
Climate Resolve builds collaborations to champion equitable climate solutions. We connect communities, organizations and policymakers to address a global problem with local action. We inclusively develop practical initiatives that reduce climate pollution and prepare for…

Climate Change L.A. Information and Resources

02/25/20
How climate change is affecting Southern California -- and what we can collectively do to ensure a bright future -- is what’s behind the partnership between KCET and Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated…

MORE NEWS

Smoke, heat and stress: A snapshot from Southern California of life in an altered climate

By Kyla Thomas   12/14/21  
From record-breaking heat waves to massive wildfires, floods and long-running drought, the impacts of climate change across the U.S. have been impossible to ignore in 2021. While conditions vary from one region to another, it…

Irvine is one of 3 cities in state to win $1 million to combat climate change

By Ben Brazil  Photo: Raul Roa   10/28/21  
After taking part in a statewide competition, Irvine has been awarded $1-million worth of funding to help achieve its ambitious goal to have a zero-carbon economy by 2030.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approves motions to phase out oil and gas drilling

By Dan Bacher   09/20/21  
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved two companion motions that will put Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the nation, on a path to ban existing oil drilling and transition fossil fuel workers…

Climate change lets mosquitoes flourish — and feast — in Los Angeles

By Erica Werner  Photo: Mark Abramson   09/19/21  
Many try and fail to make it in L.A. But one group is proving unstoppable: mosquitoes, which have taken over Southern California and are driving the humans here crazy.

Learning to live with climate change: lessons from Los Angeles

By Christopher Grimes and Camilla Hodgson  Photo: Robyn Beck , Getty Images   08/13/21  
As the population of Los Angeles boomed in the early 20th century, William Mulholland had a realisation: the city’s climate was far too dry to provide enough water to support the grand metropolis he envisioned.…

City facing water emergency

By Ralph Vartabedian  Photo: Brian van der Brug   07/20/21  
Rick Daniels lies awake at night worrying about a rusty contraption in a forlorn field, littered with discarded pipes and fire hydrants. It is the only water pump in Needles that meets state water quality…

This is how Los Angeles is creating green jobs of the future

By Avi Asher-Schapiro   06/25/21  
Los Angeles is looking to renewable energy sources like solar power to improve its economic outlook - whilst helping to save the planet. The city has pledged to sharply curb its greenhouse gas emissions, aiming…

The Power’s On, for Now

By Gabrielle Gurley  Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand , AP   06/14/21  
If people with bad intentions crossed the Mexican and Canadian borders to raid American towns, or landed unseen on coastal beaches to launch guerrilla attacks, the country would mobilize to get on a war footing…

Blistering heat bearing down, with triple-digit temperatures that threaten the L.A. area

By Faith E. Pinho and Lila Seidman  Photo: Al Seib , Los Angeles Times   06/14/21  
A heat wave blanketing Southern California is driving blistering temperatures from the beaches to the mountains, triggering excessive-heat warnings and sparking fears that the hot, dry conditions are ripe for wildfires.

Port of Los Angeles demonstrates hydrogen-powered electric vehicles

By SmartCitiesWorld News Team   06/11/21  
Part of a large-scale, multi-year demonstration, the project is designed to advance the port’s Clean Air Action Plan goals and help California achieve statewide climate change.

Coalition launches to build first U.S. green hydrogen ‘hub’

By Miranda Willson  Photo: George Frey , Getty Images   05/20/21  
A new partnership of energy companies and utilities is aiming to make Los Angeles the first green hydrogen "hub" in the nation by replacing approximately a third of the city's natural gas with the carbon-free…

Port of Long Beach Goes Green With Renewable Natural Gas

By Tetra Tech   04/02/21  
LACSD produces electricity for wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) operations from digester biogas at its Joint Water Pollution Control Plant (JWPCP) in Carson, California. The digester biogas has a methane content of more than 65 percent,…

How a beachfront gas plant explains California’s energy problems

By Sammy Roth  Photo: Mel Melcon   04/01/21  
When the California Public Utilities Commission recommended 17 months ago that a gas-fired power plant on the Redondo Beach waterfront remain open beyond 2020 — over the objections of local officials and clean energy activists…

Los Angeles now has a road map for 100% renewable energy

By Sammy Roth  Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times   03/24/21  
Los Angeles is one of the last places in California still burning coal for electricity — and if all goes according to plan, it could become one of the country’s first major cities to nearly…

Pioneering NREL Analysis Empowers Los Angeles in Its Pursuit of 100% Renewables

03/24/21  
Los Angeles is a famously sprawling metropolis, spanning from the sparkling Pacific Ocean on its west to the rugged San Gabriel and Santa Ana mountains and San Joaquin Hills on its east.    

L.A. could be powered entirely by renewable energy in 25 years

By Gary Polakovic  Photo by Luca Temporelli   03/24/21  
Powering Los Angeles entirely with renewable energy can be accomplished without significant disruption to the economy or lifestyles over the next 25 years, if not sooner, according to new research conducted by USC experts for…

Newsom right to boost Huntington Beach desalination facility

By The Editorial Board  Photo by Patrick T. Fallon   03/09/21  
Opponents of a proposed desalination facility along the Huntington Beach coastline are aghast that Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken steps to help end a years-long regulatory logjam. Although an environmentalist, the governor clearly recognizes the…

Los Angeles green jobs report calls for California electric vehicle authority

03/08/21  
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator recommended in a report released last week that the state create a California Electric Vehicle Authority to accelerate transportation electrification.

Malibu Foundation Launches Climate Vulnerability Survey

By Genevieve Finn  Photo by Julie Ellerton   03/08/21  
The Malibu Foundation is seeking to assess the region’s ability to bounce back after major weather events. Last week, the nonprofit sent out a survey to residents of Santa Monica Mountains communities such as Agoura…

Climate Change Activist Picks Up All Trash In Eaton Canyon, Over 589 Days

By Olivia Richard  Photo by Josis Huang   03/07/21  
With just a pair of gloves and a few buckets on hand, 20-year-old climate activist Edgar McGregor spent nearly 600 days cleaning Eaton Canyon, picking up trash that hikers and others leave behind.

California’s Climate Gap

Paul Rosenberg   03/04/21  
The mid-February winter storm stretched across most of the continental United States, but hit the state of Texas especially hard. It left more than 4.5 million homes and businesses without power, and more than 70…

Los Angeles is Looking Into Clean Energy, But is it Enough?

By Jasmin Vargas  Photo by Jasmin Vargas   02/25/21  
Our cities and towns are in a constant state of emergency. The pandemic has sharpened inequalities, shut down countries, and infected the most vulnerable among us. The pandemic-induced recession continues to worsen the crisis as…

Letters to the Editor: City Hall’s fecklessness on banning gas to fight climate change

By Bruce Gurnick   02/09/21  
My husband and I have been remodeling a house and constructing an auxiliary dwelling unit in Frogtown. These homes will have solar hot water, mini-split heat pumps and electric ranges. This is the future for…

Clean Energy Signs Multi-Year Contract with LA Metro for More Than 47 Million Gallons of Renewable Natural Gas

02/08/21  
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) announced that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has signed a new agreement for an estimated 47.5 million gallons of its renewable natural gas (RNG) to fuel…

LA County Could Create 600,000 Green Jobs by 2050

By Susan Carpenter  Photo by Susan Montoya Bryan   01/29/21  
One of the key tenets of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan is that it would create millions of good-paying jobs in an emerging green economy. And Friday, a report from the Los Angeles Cleantech…

Los Angeles, San Francisco brace for damaging winds, rare January fire threat

By Diana Leonard and Andrew Freedman   01/19/21  
An unusually strong and far-reaching high wind event is descending upon California today through Wednesday, bringing damaging winds and the threat of fast-moving wildfires from Sacramento to San Francisco and southward to Los Angeles. The…

Two California Cities Top List of Dirtiest Places in the U.S.

By Jan Wesner Childs  Photo by Allen J. Schaben   01/19/21  
Air pollution was one factor used in the analysis. Greenhouse gas emissions were another metric. Los Angeles and its suburbs ranked among the dirtiest cities. Two California cities top a new list of the dirtiest…

Downtown Los Angeles Under Rare Wildfire Risk as Strong Winds Rattle California

By Climate Nexus  Photo by Kevork Djansezian   01/19/21  
California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.  

LA Now Has 10,000 Commercial EV Chargers, Two Years Earlier Than Planned

By Susan Carpenter   01/06/21  
If you drive a gas-powered car, you probably haven’t noticed, but EV chargers have been popping up all over the city — on street lamps, at libraries, workplaces, apartment complexes — even the L.A. Zoo.…

Will Los Angeles Build a New Gas Plant?

By Tom R   01/06/21  
“This is the beginning of the end of natural gas for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. It was February 2019. Three coastal natural gas power plants, which the…

Powerless

By Eliot Cohen   01/04/21  
This shadow appears to have infected what is left of the City Council's common sense. Greta's brand of climate alarmism is causing the City Council to take actions that will make Los Angeles' electric grid…

L.A. ranked riskiest place for natural disasters in U.S.

01/03/21  
The top 10 counties on the FEMA index include three in Southern California. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has calculated the risk for every county in America for 18 types of natural disasters, including earthquakes,…

Watch out Southern California: Feds calculate riskiest, safest places in US

By Seth Borenstein  Photo by Damian Dovarganes   01/03/21  
Spending her life in Los Angeles, Morgan Andersen knows natural disasters all too well. In college, an earthquake shook her home hard. Her grandfather was affected by recent wildfires in neighboring Orange County.

The riskiest place for a natural disaster in the U.S.? You’re living in it, L.A.

By Associated Press  Photo by Ringo H.W. Chiu   01/02/21  
Having lived her life in Los Angeles, Morgan Andersen knows natural disasters all too well. In college, an earthquake shook her home hard. Her grandfather was affected by recent wildfires in neighboring Orange County.

For young Californians, climate change is a mental health crisis too

By Brian Contreras  Photo by Justin Sullivan   12/27/20  
Maddie Cole in eighth grade stopped running cross country. She’d competed the year before, but the air quality in her native Sacramento was so bad that she got sick during a race; she soon learned…

Santa may not need the heavy red coat when he visits Southern California

By Paul Duginski  Photo by Paul Duginski   12/16/20  
Santa might be able to lose the heavy red coat when he makes his rounds in the Southland, and he probably won’t need an umbrella either.

Trump’s plan for managing forests won’t save us in a more flammable world, experts say

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo by Mason Trinca   09/17/20  
In California, smoke plumes spun into twisters made out of soot and flame, prompting the first-ever “fire tornado” warning. In Oregon, blazes advanced on towns so rapidly that even fire crews had to flee. Never…

How climate change is fueling record-breaking California wildfires, heat and smog

By Susanne Rust  Photo by Eric Risberg   09/13/20  
“This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. “Maybe we underestimated the magnitude and speed” at which these events would…

‘This is Crazy.’ A Record 2 Million Acres of California Have Burned This Year With Heat Conditions Predicted to Continue

By Jasmine Aguilera  Photo by Neil Waters   09/07/20  
“This is crazy. We haven’t even got into the October and November fire season and we’ve broken the all-time record,” Cal Fire Capt. Richard Cordova told CNN on Sunday.

UCLA Creates Climate Change Center To Find Solutions For Disaster

By Nicole Charky   09/02/20  
"Los Angeles is a city that tackles our toughest challenges by tapping into the innovation and creativity in our own backyard, and this UCLA center will help us build a safer, cleaner and more equitable…

Jane Fonda brings climate change protests to Los Angeles

By Maria L. La Ganga   02/02/20  
The Oscar-winning actor had moved from Century City to Washington, D.C., in September, intent on a mission: to raise awareness of climate change. She protested on the U.S. Capitol grounds in a bright red coat —…

Los Angeles commits to 100% electric sanitation fleet by 2035. Other cities aren’t ready to follow

By E.A. Crunden  Photo: LA Sanitation   01/29/20  
LASAN Director Enrique Zaldivar pledged to procure only electric vehicles in two years and gradually convert the fleet. While the market continues to evolve, adoption is far from widespread.

Composting in LA isn’t as easy as it sounds

Hosted by Steve Chiotakis  Photo: Caleigh Wells   01/15/20  
Venice Blvd. consists mainly of small storefronts and apartment complexes, but on one corner, next to the fire station, a large garden interrupts the buildings crammed together. The plants there are grown with the help…

Los Angeles Rethinks Taxis as Uber and Lyft Dominate the Streets

01/12/20  
The cab business is down 75 percent in less than a decade. The plan is to make taxis a lot more like their app-hailed rivals.

Strong Winds Spark More Than a Dozen LA-Area Wildfires, Including a Blaze Near Reagan Presidential Library

10/31/19  
More than a dozen wildfires ignited around Los Angeles Wednesday as strong Santa Ana winds prompted the National Weather Service to issue "extreme red flag warnings"...

Reagan Library spared from flames as powerful wind gusts drive new wildfire near Los Angeles

By Scott Wilson,   10/31/19  
Hurricane-force gusts and single-digit humidity levels combined Wednesday to spark a number of fires across Southern California, including one here that threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for several morning hours.

Getty Fire Breaks out in Los Angeles, Adding to California’s Fire Woes

10/29/19  
Yet another wildfire has ignited in California as the state battles wind-driven blazes that have forced nearly 200,000 from their homes and left around a million...

Los Angeles is testing ‘plastic asphalt’ that makes it possible to recycle roads

By Adele Peters  Photo: TechniSoil Industrial   10/24/19  
By mixing recycled plastic bottles with chewed up asphalt, the new process repaves a road without adding any new asphalt—and makes it from a material that lasts longer.

Meet Los Angeles’s first-ever Forest officer

10/08/19  
L.A. set a goal to plant 90,000 new trees by the end of 2021 as part of the city’s New Green Deal. Here’s how they’ll do it....

Massive Solar-Battery Plant Wins Approval in L.A., Overcoming Union Concerns

By Julian Spector   09/10/19  
Los Angeles' municipal utility unanimously approved the contract for the cheapest solar and energy storage project in the U.S. on Tuesday.