L.A. Business Council Announces Support for 100% Carbon-Free Energy by 2035 at 15th Annual Sustainability Summit

As historic droughts parch California counties from Siskiyou to San Diego ahead of another projected record wildfire season, the Los Angeles Business Council today released its top climate policy goals, stepping forward as the first business group to endorse an ambitious plan for the L.A. Department of Water and Power to shift to 100% carbon-free energy by 2035.

The LABC released a blueprint to continue advancing L.A.’s climate leadership as thousands of high-level government, business and nonprofit leaders convened virtually at its 15th Annual Sustainability Summit. The ambitious goals range from expanded solar investment to calls for a citywide clean-workforce development initiative.

At the top of the LABC’s climate policy agenda is endorsing a March 31 motion by City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Mitch O’Farrell to expedite L.A.’s timeline to transition to all clean energy. The motion would direct the LADWP to complete the shift to 100% carbon-free energy a full decade early, reaching that goal through a mix of projects focused on solar, wind, electrical storage and other technologies.

The motion followed the release of the groundbreaking LA100 study, which examined potential paths to achieve L.A.’s goal of reaching reliable, 100% carbon-free energy over the next two decades.

“The LABC is proud to step up as the first business group to join Councilmembers Krekorian and O’Farrell in calling for the LADWP to transition to 100% clean energy by 2035,” said LABC President Mary Leslie. “Our city has already proven itself one of the nation’s leaders in sustainability and renewable energy in a cost-effective manner that has created new jobs and investment. But we believe L.A. must aim even higher in pursuit of a healthier environment and a stronger, more inclusive green economy. We should act with the urgency that our climate challenges demand.”

L.A. remains a leader in scaling back its carbon footprint and embracing forward-looking environmental policies that build more resilient communities and businesses in the face of intensifying climate challenges. The LABC continues to support broad economic incentives that spur investment, innovation, and market-driven solutions to adapt to and combat the climate crisis’ myriad consequences.

“The results of the LA100 study provide definitive evidence that not only is a 100% carbon free grid within reach, Los Angeles has a path to hit that mark by 2035,” said Councilmember Krekorian, who co-authored the 2016 motion that prompted the first-in-the-nation research. “This launches a new chapter for L.A., and creates a playbook that cities and utilities nationwide can follow.”

In addition to supporting an expedited clean energy transition, the LABC issued the following climate policy priorities:

  • Increase the City’s EV Charger Goal to 25,000 by 2025: Incentivize and support the build-out of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure throughout the city’s existing multifamily properties. The LABC is calling on the city to increase the 12,000 chargers currently online and to adopt a goal of reaching 25,000 new EV chargers by 2025.
  • Attract a Zero-Emission Vehicle Manufacturing Facility: Develop a jobs-training and incentives package to locate a ZEV manufacturing facility in L.A.
  • Clean Workforce Development Initiative: Develop, fund and implement a citywide clean workforce development initiative to harness the enormous economic potential of the projected green energy sector boom. The program would include internships, job placement, and hands-on training to create a sustainable clean energy talent pipeline.
  • Grow Rooftop Solar on Multifamily Buildings: Support the growth of solar – the largest in-basin energy source – throughout L.A., particularly on the rooftops of multifamily buildings. L.A. has more than 13 GW of solar rooftop technical potential, half of which exists in the residential sector. The LABC is calling on the city to enact all necessary land use and zoning reforms to maximize this potential with 40% of the new projects in the L.A. “solar hotspots.”
  • Build on Mayor Garcetti’s Wastewater Recycling Goal: Uphold Mayor Garcetti’s 2019 pledge to put L.A. on track to recycle all treated wastewater for beneficial reuse by 2035. “Replenishing local groundwater reserves would benefit local municipal customers and reduce the city’s need for imported supplies,” the LABC wrote.

The LABC’s second consecutive virtual climate summit addressed pressing topics including climate policy, energy grid regionalization, and California’s natural disaster resilience strategy. A full schedule of events can be found at labusinesscouncil.org.

About the Los Angeles Business Council

The Los Angeles Business Council is one of the most effective and influential advocacy and educational organizations in California. For over 70 years, the LABC has had a major impact on public policy by harnessing the power of business and government to promote environmental and economic sustainability in the Los Angeles region. To learn more, please visit labusinesscouncil.org.