Mayor of C40 city Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa announcedWednesday the city’s plan — approved Tuesday by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners — to be coal-free by the year 2025. Los Angeles currently meets 39% of its energy demand from two coal plants, one in Utah and another in Arizona. According to the new plan, the Department of Water and Power (DWP) will end the Arizona contract by 2015 and convert the Utah plant to natural gas by 2025.
When Mayor Villaraigosa took office in 2005, Los Angeles received only 3% of its energy from renewable sources. However, under the guidance of Villaraigosa’s environmental leadership, Los Angeles became the first city in California to meet 20% of its energy demand from clean sources. Notable achievements under Villaraigosa include the launch of Los Angeles’ urban rooftop solar program, the largest of its kind in the nation, as well as the city’s major public works project to retrofit street lighting with energy-efficient LED fixtures.
By pioneering the road away from coal, Los Angeles is demonstrating how to transform our cities and economies to create clean jobs while preserving our essential resources and improving the health of our environment.
In the words of Mayor Villaraigosa:
“Los Angeles will finally kick its coal addiction. This is just one more way we’re transforming Los Angeles from the capital of smog to the capital of sustainability. Los Angeles has led the nation and reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 28%; that’s four times what the Kyoto Protocol requires, and we’ve done it by quadrupling our use of renewable energy, cleaning our air at the nations largest port, and dramatically expanding our public transit system. Together we’re leading the way towards a greener, cleaner, more sustainable future.”
This is also a result of a collaboration between LA and the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign, which is funded in part by a $50 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.