Supes Vote to Create County Climate Budget to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2045

Date:

The following is a press release from the Office of Supervisor Lindsey Hovarth

Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors took a meaningful step to realize Los Angeles County’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 by creating a climate budget to better connect investments and operations to climate targets as envisioned in the OurCounty Sustainability Plan. The motion was authored by Chair Lindsey P. Horvath who identified climate change as one of her top priorities as she leads the Board as Chair. Supervisor Hilda L. Solis co-authored the motion.

“Climate change is the crisis of our time. The County has best in class climate goals and an award-winning sustainability plan, but these efforts won’t mean anything unless we budget through a climate and equity lens to reduce our emissions and consistently track our progress,” said Chair Lindsey P. Horvath. “Establishing a countywide climate budget is an opportunity to lead by example by aligning our finances with our values for a healthy, resilient environment.” 

The County has a goal of reducing its own operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2025, 50% by 2035, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. As the region’s largest employer, Los Angeles County has the responsibility to decarbonize its operations and to lead by example. Many cities, including Los Angeles and New York City prepare a municipal GHG inventory, which measures the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions of municipal operations. The County has not prepared a municipal GHG inventory in nearly ten years. Through this motion, a new baseline for County emissions will be set to regularly update progress, which will inform a new sustainability plan in 2025. 

“Los Angeles County is more than a regional player; we are a national and international leader in the fight against climate change,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “By transitioning to a default rate of 100% renewable energy, we have accelerated our shift towards a zero-carbon economy. Our communities, and most specifically our most vulnerable residents, are suffering from the impacts of climate change – extreme heat, drought, flooding… It’s not enough to just address their needs. With this motion, we are making LA County the epicenter of the sustainability revolution, improving health outcomes, fostering clean energy jobs, and building a more resilient and equitable County.” 

Some Board policies that have not been fully funded to date that will be addressed by this motion, include:  

  • 1) Organic waste separation and collection at all County facilities in compliance with SB 1383.  
  • 2) All new buildings being net-zero energy by 2025, and building renovations being 50% net-zero carbon by 2025, 75% by 2035, and 100% by 2045.  
  • 3) 5,000 electric vehicle charging stations deployed at County facilities by 2025, 15,000 by 2035.  
  • 4) By 2035, 100% of medium-duty vehicle purchases to be zero-emissions and by 2045, 100% of the County fleet to be zero-emissions or better.  
  • 5) Maximizing the installation of solar and energy storage systems on County property and eliminating fossil fuels in County operated co-generation facilities. 

The motion calls for a report to be provided within four months outlining a plan to regularly prepare and present an accounting of the greenhouse gas emissions of County operations, including from energy, buildings, transportation, water, and waste, in order to measure progress towards achieving decarbonization. The motion also calls for: 

  • 1) A list of projects funded in each year’s budget that are intended to advance the County’s climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.  
  • 2) A recommended minimum climate mitigation investment target for each budget year.  
  • 3) Identifying annual opportunities for external grant support and proactively message those findings to relevant departments, leveraging existing platforms such as InfrastructureLA.  
  • 4) An accounting of barriers to climate mitigation investments at County facilities and recommendations to address such barriers (i.e. purchasing procedures, procurement rules, human resources, capacity to pursue grants, accounting for energy savings, etc.). 

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