GLASGOW, Scotland – In a first to a UN climate conference, mayors from cities around the world spoke to world leaders to talk about the commitments made by subnational governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among them was Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who as chairman of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group announced Monday that 1,049 cities around the world had merged and committed to halving greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.
“I’m so inspired here in Glasgow that cities are really showing the way in a very kind of discouraged and at times hopeless moment,” Mayor Garcetti told Spectrum News 1 in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. “Cities bring a lot of hope. So while national governments will negotiate over the next 10 days what they will or will not do, cities have put our map on the table.”
Here are 5 things to know about Mayor Garcetti’s plans for LA:
- Los Angeles did not agree to take on new climate roofs during the UN climate conference. “I share them [plans] with Angelenos just as fast as we do them, “said Mayor Garcetti,” but some of the latest that we promised is to get to 100% renewable energy using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It will make us 97% carbon free by the end of this decade, with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and five years later to be at zero. That’s probably the biggest promise in any major city in the world. ”
- Despite LA’s ability to achieve net-zero emissions from its electricity grid 15 years before what he called for in the city’s Green New Deal, it may not be fast enough. “One of my messages is always to reconsider next year whether this year’s promises are too slow. That is the boldest commitment. That is beyond all our national governments do, ”said the mayor. “In fact, there is only one national government that has developed a plan and lived up to its Paris agreement. It is the Gambia, a very small country in Africa. megabytes, on track to achieve those goals. So I think we want to make sure we always speed this up. We can not do this too fast. “
- Global leaders have committed $ 13 trillion over the last two years to fight COVID, but have only committed $ 100 billion annually to fight climate change. Investments to fund greenhouse gas emission reductions “must come from the affluent nations and to some extent from the private sector,” Garcetti said. “The commitment that rich nations have made to start at $ 100 billion a year has not yet been fulfilled, so we say at least hit that floor and then raise the floor and reach $ 200 or $ 300 billion a year. Countries, who have made bold promises to move forward can not always finance it.Whether it is multilateral or through private investment, we must all make sure that we put this money forward.It is expensive but the cost of passivity is so much more expensive.”
- LA is looking at adopting some of the strategies that other global cities use to tackle climate change and make their cities more habitable, Mayor Garcetti said. These include naming a chief heating officer, as Phoenix has done, and trying to make LA a 15-minute city, just as the mayor of Buenos Aires is working toward “where you can walk or bike within 15 minutes to everything,” the mayor said. He is also interested in London’s ultra-low emission zone – a part of the city where a fee is charged for driving the most polluting vehicles – although he acknowledged such a zone “is more complicated in LA because we not only have a center but many of them.”
- LA has one of the most ambitious climate agendas in the world with the Green New Deal announced in 2019, but the city may not be habitable in 2050 “if we do not act,” the mayor said. “I’m a fourth generation product from LA. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. I threw myself into this, and long after I got the title of mayor, I have to work on this for my daughter and one day her There are things we can do in the short term in terms of viability, even as we address reducing our CO2 emissions …. I think we will be able to live in Los Angeles if we each do our part.I am convinced that we are a leader when it comes to electricity, transportation and soon buildings.But we need the rest of the world to be there too because LA can not do it on its own . ”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Click the arrow above to view the full interview with Mayor Garcetti.