Los Angeles is joining with nine major cities in an ambitious effort to cut greenhouse gases by improving efficiencies that reduce pollution in buildings, it was announced Wednesday.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, in a conference call with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Institute for Market Transformation for the City Energy Project, committed the city to the initial three-year effort to develop new programs and policies for buildings.
"Cities are driving the progress in terms of innovation," Garcetti said. "We certainly have climate change affecting us in various ways, such as with the drought. We see many more years where it is not just a problem of greenhouse gases but the livability of Los Angeles."
The city is committed to getting off coal and has been working to develop alternative forms of energy with solar and wind power, he noted. "We know the best way to get a greener mix of power is to improve our energy mix, including increased energy efficiency."
No specifics were offered as to whether the changes would apply only to city-owned buildings and new construction or if there will be a move to require changes in existing structures.
Garcetti said the program fits in with his goal of bringing 20,000 new green jobs to the local economy.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who began a similar program in his city, said 75 to 80 percent of greenhouse gases comes from buildings. New York was able to reduce its building pollution levels by convincing landlords to take simple steps, such as converting from heavy oils to natural gas to provide heating and air conditioning.
Other cities taking part are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.
Initial funding for the program is coming from the Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.
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Original headline: L.A. joins effort to reduce building pollution
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