LA Council Committee Advances Plan To Accelerate Renewable Energy Effort

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A City Council committee today advanced a proposal calling for the city to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035, while also backing development of a long-term hiring plan for an anticipated 9,500 “green'' jobs for the effort.

Citing the recent United Nations report that warned of a “code red'' condition for the worldwide environment due to climate change, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell called it urgent for the city to set “aggressive goals for renewable energy.''

“Transitioning Los Angeles into a 100% renewable energy future by 2035 isn't an option, it's a work plan for a world in trouble,'' according to a statement from O'Farrell, who chairs the council's Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice & Los Angeles River Committee.

The 2035 date is a decade earlier than the city's current goal.

O'Farrell introduced the motion along with Councilman Paul Krekorian.

“If we do not take decisive action, the temperature of the planet will rise well above 1.5 degrees in the coming decades,'' Krekorian said in a statement. “In the face of this existential crisis, it is imperative that we implement the historic plan to convert Los Angeles to clean and renewable energy -- LA100 -- by 2035. Our partners at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are already committed to meeting this accelerated timeline."

The two motions approved by the committee -- setting the 2035 goal for 100% renewable energy and establishing a hiring plan for “green'' jobs expected to be created during the transition -- will move to the full council for consideration.

The green jobs motion would instruct the DWP to create a long-term hiring and workforce plan, focused on “ensuring project labor agreements, prevailing wage and targeted hiring requirements.'' It also would increase hiring from neighborhoods of Los Angeles that are “environmentally and economically disadvantaged.''

On March 24, the city released the LA100 Study, which found that the DWP -- the nation's largest municipal utility -- can reach the city's goal by 2045 or sooner if it rapidly deploys wind and solar power, electrical storage and other technologies.

The study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in partnership with the DWP and USC. It is one of the largest studies of its kind conducted by the federal government.

While researchers found that L.A. can reach entirely renewable energy by 2045, it also noted that the city can dramatically reduce its greenhouse gases, from 76% to 99% less than 2020 levels, by 2030 if the city begins to work toward these goals now. The study provided pathways to reach these goals, and each one has a similar trajectory with 73% to 92% of renewable energy generation coming from wind and solar resources.

The study was initiated by a motion introduced in 2016 by Krekorian and Councilman Mike Bonin.

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