MOTIONS INTRODUCED BY COUNCILMEMBER KORETZ
80% by 2050
Councilmember Koretz’s motion calling on the entire City of Los Angeles to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 was approved unanimously by the full City Council.
This motion aims to create: a concrete climate action plan to achieve those goals, engagement with the City’s 96 neighborhood councils via the Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance, as well as a mechanism for sharing best practices with LA’s 25 Sister Cities across the planet. Many of our Sister Cities are already feeling the brunt of the changing climate and we want to work together in solidarity to fight the problems causing what has quickly become humankind’s most urgent crisis.
The original 80% by 2050 motion can be found here.
Councilmember Koretz was joined at a press conference to announce the pending passage of his 80% by 2050 climate emissions reductions motion by Councilmember Blumenfield and a host of supportive organizations, including:
The Los Angeles Business Council, Communities for a Better Environment, the Sierra Club, Climate Resolve, Environment California, Interfaith Power & Light, Environmental Defense Fund, the Martin Luther King Coalition, the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, the STAND-LA Coalition, both LA 350 Climate Action Groups, the Community Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP), and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Councilmember Koretz’s motion to set measurable goals by the City to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was approved later that morning by the City Council.
The motion calls for the City to:
- By 2025, reduce GHG emissions 45% below 1990 levels.
- By 2035, reduce GHG emissions 60% below 1990 levels.
- By 2050, reduce GHG emissions 80% below 1990 levels.
The next steps will be for each City department to draft plans to meet those goals. Councilmember Koretz, meanwhile, will be working on his community-based initiatives (Cool Blocks, Pando Hubs, EcoDistricts) to meet those goals outside of city government.
Extreme oil extraction measures like fracking, acidizing and gravel packing are already causing earthquakes, groundwater contamination, methane leaks and air pollution around the country.
Councilmember Koretz, along with Councilmember Mike Bonin, has introduced a motion calling for a moratorium on fracking, acidizing and gravel packing in Los Angeles. The City Council voted to support the motion and sent the Planning Department and the City Attorney off to draft an ordinance.
The original fracking motion can be found here.
Before Aliso Canyon, LA’s Methane Emissions were already 61% Higher than Expected
Councilmember Koretz has also been working to address the City’s significant methane emissions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted in the United States from human activities, accounting for about 10% of all human-caused GHG emissions. Methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of methane on climate change is more than 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.”
“Globally, over 60% of total CH4 emissions come from human activities, including from industry [natural gas and petroleum systems], agriculture and waste management activities.”
Oil Wells in Venice, circa, 1952
News articles: Story
In an area with the largest contiguous urban oil field in the world and miles of natural gas pipelines under its streets, it is easy to understand that NASA recently found that the Los Angeles basin’s methane emissions are 61% higher than expected. Councilmember Koretz’s motion has been heard in Energy & Environment Committee and we are awaiting a report back from the City departments.
Here is the original methane motion.
“By emitting just a little bit of methane, mankind is greatly accelerating the rate of climatic change.”
- Steve Hamburg, Chief Scientist
Environmental Defense Fund
SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride)
the most potent of greenhouse gases
SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride) is, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the most potent greenhouse gas it has evaluated, with a global warming potential of 23,900 times that of carbon dioxide when compared over a 100-year period.
Average global SF6 concentrations increased by about 7% per year during the 1980s and 1990s mainly as a result of its use in the magnesium production industry, by electronics manufacturers, and by electrical utilities, including our own Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP). LADWP has reported that it uses SF6 to efficiently conduct electricity through its transmission equipment.
The Clean Air Act requires LADWP to follow federal reporting requirements in order to mitigate SF6 emissions. Toward that end, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the energy industry, conducts the SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems (Partnership). Before Councilmember Koretz introduced his SF6 motion, the LADWP did not participate in the Partnership. His motion changed that. It resulted in LADWP’s joining the SF6 Partnership and participating in the nationwide best-practice efforts to reduce emissions of this incredibly dangerous greenhouse gas.
Here is the original motion.
Zero Waste LA
In 2014, Councilmember Koretz partnered with Councilmember Jose Huizar to initiate the City’s historic Zero Waste policy. This commercial waste policy aims to increase customer service, reduce trash truck trips and to help the City meet its goal of diverting 90% of its trash from landfills by 2025. Both of these efforts will substantially reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. Fewer truck trips will reduce carbon dioxide pollution and less trash in landfills will reduce methane emissions. The new policy will go into force in 2017.
Here is the original motion.
Solar Feed-In Tariff program
Its tremendous combination of ample sunshine and endless rooftops make Los Angeles an ideal city for solar energy. Councilmember Koretz has been a strong supporter of all of the Department of Water & Power’s (LADWP) solar programs, but has been particularly instrumental in moving forward its historic feed-in tariff program. A feed-in tariff (FiT) program is a policy mechanism which allows companies who own rooftop solar installations of a certain size to sell the energy those panels generate back to LADWP. A FiT program incentivizes a rapid movement to renewable energy, which is so necessary to allow the City to move away from coal and natural gas energy production.