Future360 caught up with the Mayor of the Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, to discuss his environmental initiatives for the city.
The Mayor spoke about his vision to turn LA from a city of smog to a city of sustainability, from the car congestion capital of the world to a city know for public transportation and for being multi-modal. Villaraigosa signed the Kyoto Protocol and the city now boasts greenhouse gas emissions 28% below 1990s levels. Los Angeles is powered by 20% renewables and is working to get off coal by 2025. The city uses the same about of water as it did in the 1970s, and it recycles 76% of waste.
The city of Los Angeles working with its universities -- UCLA, USC and Caltech -- to create agreements around technology transfer and is developing its cleantech community to help fight climate change. The vision for the establishment of the 'Cleantech Corridor' in downtown Los Angeles is to attract clean tech companies that are working on clean energy technologies to improve air, water, carbon emissions, climate responsibilities. At the same time, it's developing the jobs of the future that will incentivize the continued progress around combating climate change.
The Mayor also spoke about some of challenges in getting sustainable measures passed. He stated that policy environment is US is different from Europe and Canada. Despite the fact that 98% of all nobel prize climatologists thinking climate change is real, there are still politicians that don't think climate change is real, who don't buy the science. The lack of unanimity on climate is hurting this country. Villaraigosa cited another challenge in building consensus on making investments now, that pay off in the future.
We have a responsibility to do it. We are 2% of land mass, close to 50% of population, but 70% of emissions.