Category Archives: Mayor Villaraigosa

Mediterranean-Climate Cities to Converge On Los Angeles

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[Press Release]

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 16, 2012 ) —How is your city prepaing to deal with the impacts of climate change? That is the question being framed at 2012’s The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation, to be held June 27 in Downtown Los Angeles. Leaders from the five Mediterranean regions of the world will come together to focus specifically on adaptation, which seeks to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems to the effects climate change.

The conference will initiate an ongoing collaboration of Mediterranean cities working together to solve the mutual problem of adapting to an uncertain climate. In addition, the conference aims to create new and strengthen existing ties among the decision-makers, thought-leaders and academics, building bridges across disciplines. 

“Our climate is changing and so it is more important than ever that cities work together around this common cause,” said Executive Director, Dr. Nancy Steele. “By coming together, conference participants will share resources and knowledge across regional and national boundaries to build effective solutions. We are excited to host this first ever convening of all the Mediterranean-climate regions around the world.”

Cities of the Future author Paul Brown will be the keynote speaker at the conference. Other invited speakers include: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, United State Representative Lois Capps, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Yarqon River Authority (Israel) Executive Director David Pargament, Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick, and many more.

On June 25 and 26, an invited group of regional experts will come together for The Mediterranean City Consortium. During this time, small working groups of invited scientists, planners, engineers, resource managers, and policy makers will work collaboratively toward sharing solutions and suggest collaborative steps forward. The pre-conference working group activities will heavily shape the agenda of the The Mediterranean City Conference, which will be open to the public and present a forum for the working groups to present their shared findings and ideas for the future.

Conference Themes

Water: Resilient Water Management Strategies for a Changing Climate
Water is among the most basic of human needs and is necessary for economic vitality and food security. In the Mediterranean City, water is harnessed for consumption, industry, and waste management, while flood control systems seek to move water away from cities as efficiently as possible. Degradation of water quality occurs from urban practice and single purpose policy. As water scarcity increases with climate change, and as demand continues to outpace sustainable supplies, human and natural communities of the City and of the water-supply-shed are threatened at the most basic levels.

Energy: Transitioning to an Energy Efficient and Low Carbon Future
With a natural supply of abundant solar energy and the potential for tidal and off-shore wind and wave-to-energy power, the Mediterranean climate zones have great potential to harness renewable energy supplies. However, as urban populations in Mediterranean Cities continue to grow, renewable resource demand may outstrip renewable resource availability. Needs and costs of production must be better understood and affordable to move forward in producing green energy.

Biodiversity and Open Space: Building an Ecological City
Mediterranean ecosystems have nutrient−poor soils and are seasonally climate−limited, yet have evolved species−rich ecosystems with a great deal of endemism.  Healthy ecosystems provide nature’s services to urban centers, cleaning air and water; providing spaces of beauty to refresh the soul and encourage recreation; producing food, fiber, and fuel; and mitigating natural disasters (e.g., drought and flood) while cleaning of polluted urban runoff.

The Built Environment: Designing Healthier Communities
In the face of rapid development and population growth, cities are under increasing threat of loss of functionality and ability to meet the needs to their residents. By redefining the built environment to require or incentivize green building design, ecologically-functional streets, transit-oriented communities, and open spaces, cities can become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. By becoming more compact, for example, cities can promote the preservation of regionally-unique habitats while also combating urban sprawl. Smart building and landscape designs can also effectively reduce the energy footprint of buildings while contributing to the overall energy portfolio of cities.

Public Health: Preparing People for Their Future
A healthy ecosystem – dependent on clean air and water, natural hydrogeologic processes, and biological diversity – nurtures a healthy human population, which in turn must respect and tend those resources through conservation. Human systems too must reorient towards healthier outcomes for natural and human populations through changed practices in sanitation, food provisioning, and ecosystem services management. Planning for greener cities that conserve these Mediterranean resources will also provide avenues for improving public health.

Governance: Rethinking Boundaries
Cities are now the engines of the world economy and social structure and must, therefore, work as a network across sectors and national boundaries to bring more resources and knowledge to building solutions. To bring resiliency to the city and to the network of information sharing, new forms of governance and public-private partnerships must be examined for their efficacy in supporting an open exchange and transfer of ideas and technology. 

Conference Organizer: Council for Watershed Health: The Council for Watershed Health supports healthy watersheds for the region by serving as a robust center for the generation of objective research and analysis.  The Council has established a platform for meaningful collaboration among governmental organizations, academic institutions, businesses and other nonprofit organizations with a vested interest in clean water, reliable water supplies, ample parks and open spaces, revitalized rivers, and vibrant communities. 

Founded in 1996 by leading environmental activist Dorothy Green and others, the Council produces continuing research programs that examine water usage and quality as well as create and enhance preservation and conservation tactics. The trustworthy expertise and analysis that comes from the Council’s ongoing programs connects a diverse set of groups with overlapping missions in an effort to drive polices that will continually improve watershed quality.

The Mediterranean City Conference on Climate Change Adaptation is made possible thanks to the support CDM SMITH, the Department of Energy, the City of Los Angeles, The Nature Conservancy, UCLA, the Long Beach Water Department and more than 20 endorsing organizations.

For more information and to register to attend the conference, please visit the event website at www.medcityconference.org.

 

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Clinton Global Initiative Recognizes AEG Farmers Field

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Clinton   Global Initiative Recognizes AEG for their Commitment to Action to   

Create Farmers Field, Nation’s First Carbon-Neutral NFL Stadium

New NFL stadium, event center and modernized Los Angeles Convention Center raise the bar forsustainable entertainment and business development in a major urban area.

NEW YORK — Sept. 20, 2011 —At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting today, leading sports and entertainment presenters AEG were recognized by former President Bill Clinton for their Commitment to Action to invest $1 billion to build Farmers Field, a 72,000-seat, downtown Los Angeles football stadium and event center. As part of AEG’s commitment, the Los Angeles-based organization is working with partners, including the U.S. Green Building Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to ensure that Farmers Field will be the most environmentally sustainable stadium in the world and the first stadium in the NFL to be LEED certified.

We are so proud to have a company in Los Angeles being honored by the Clinton Global Initiative for their proven track record of providing the most innovative solutions to environmental issues while also creating jobs and opportunities for the community,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Their tireless commitment to innovative, environmental programs such AEG 1 EARTH has set the precedent for the sports and entertainment industry across the world to follow.”

Through this Commitment to Action, AEG pledges to work closely with CGI to monitor environmental results and report back on progress. This comes on the heels of a bill passed by an overwhelming 80 percent majority of the California State Senate and Assembly that will require AEG to ensure that Farmers Field is 100 percent carbon neutral for all emissions generated from private automobile trips to and from the stadium and for Farmers Field to have the best ratio of fans to automobiles in all of the NFL. The stadium will prioritize on-site and local projects before purchasing carbon offsets to support local economic development while ensuring positive environmental and social impacts. In addition, as part of their Commitment to Action, AEG will go beyond legal requirements to achieve carbon neutrality for all emissions from energy consumption and mechanical operations of the stadium. Combining these commitments with additional measures, such as water conservation and robust waste and recycling programs, including the donation of durable goods and an in-house composting program, will create the nation’s most comprehensive environmental program for an NFL stadium.

“The Clinton Global Initiative is a forum for visionary companies and leaders who are committed to designing a sustainable future for individuals, businesses and communities, by repurposing business methods and culture to solve critical global problems,” said former President Bill Clinton. “AEG has proven to be the world’s most environmentally conscious venue operators, and Farmers Field will be another true example of their mission to marry design, innovation, social responsibility and community engagement, resulting in a measurable impact for future generations. I commend AEG as a model socially responsible company that is the hallmark of CG

“Farmers Field will be an example of the next generation of sports and entertainment venues, where a world-class fan experience goes hand in hand with social and environmental responsibility,” said Tim Leiweke, AEG president and CEO. “We have focused during the last four years on working with some of the most respected environmental organizations in the country to create a blueprint for the stadium and, through the AEG 1EARTH program, to create the most comprehensive environmental program in the sports and live entertainment industry. Our CGI Commitment to Action underscores AEG’s dedication and accountability for making this vision a reality. We are honored to be recognized by President Clinton and this prestigious organization.”

“Through Farmers Field, AEG is making the most environmentally responsible choice possible, with commitment beginning at the point of development,” said S. Richard Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman, U.S. Green Building Council. “Investing in sustainable construction and weaving carbon and waste programs into the fabric of a venue, its operations and its surroundings creates the lowest impact on our environment and the greatest return for the company.”

The Commitment to Action at CGI comes just weeks after the groundbreaking environmental components of the project helped garner the support of two of California’s most respected environmental groups — the NRDC and the California League of Conservation Voters.

“NRDC applauds AEG’s commitment operate the most energy efficient football stadium in the nation at Farmers field to develop a best-in-the-nation public transit infrastructure for fans and to offset the carbon emissions associated with all fan travel by cars and busses,” said Allen Hershkowitz, PhD., senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council. “Given AEG’s proven record as the worlds’ greenest arena operators and their commitment to work with environmental and community groups in developing their plan, I have every confidence that this goal will be achieved.”

….“Members of organizations across the city have come together to make Farmers Field a reality,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry. “We know that the entire city — even state — will benefit from the addition.”

 “Our focus locally lies not only on the environmental goals, but on the tens of thousands of jobs and tens of millions of economic benefits to the state,” Speaker John A. Pérez said. “AEG has been able to generate an opportunity for economic development without sacrificing our environmental standards.”

“The construction of a news sports arena and convention center will create thousands of jobs and be an economic boost for the City of Los Angeles, the region and the state,” Senator Alex Padilla said. “Unlike other stadium projects, this one will be built without any public funds and be built to unprecedented environmental standards.”

AEG’s plan is both environmental and economic. It is estimated that Farmers Field construction will create 23,000 jobs, including 12,000 full-time jobs during the construction process and 11,000 more permanent jobs at the convention center. The Los Angeles Convention Center modernization and expansion and Farmers Field project is projected to generate more than $600 million in total economic activity, raising more than $40 million in new city, county and state tax revenues.

“With record unemployment above the national average, the creation of 23,000 middle-class jobs for construction and hotel workers, stage hands, grips and janitors is critical to Los Angeles,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Our top priority is to get men and women back to work in a good job.”

More information and a complete look at the 2010 AEG 1EARTH sustainability report are available at http://www.aegworldwide.com/08_corporate/aeg1earth-report.html.


Photo courtesy WireImage/AEG (Left to Right: Steve Bing, Founder of Shangri-La Industries; Tim Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG; Former President Bill Clinton; Casey Wasserman, Chairman & CEO, Wasserman Media Group)


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Mayor Villaraigosa Announces Electric Vehicle Pilot Program

(April 21, 2011) LOS ANGELES — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LADWP General Manager Ron Nichols, and environmental leaders announced today an LADWP pilot program that will provide rebates of up to $2,000 to the first 1,000 LADWP customers for home chargers and installation costs for their electric vehicles.

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“Los Angeles is leading the nation in cleaner, greener transportation solutions,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “By offering significant rebates for home electric chargers, we hope to make electric cars more cost-effective than gasoline powered vehicles for Angelenos.”

READ ON GREENING PARIS ABOUT AUTOLIB’ EV PROGRAM:

Car Service On Demand Click Here 

Yesterday, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Rebate Program – Charge Up LA – to ease the financial burden for residents who want to install a rapid (Level 2) charger at their home for qualifying electric vehicles. Beginning May 1, 2011, the LADWP’s goal is to stprovide rebates for 3,000 to 5,000 EV home chargers.

The LADWP will track the EV charging patterns to ascertain where to allocate resources for potential energy growth. By monitoring charging patterns, the LADWP can guard against straining the grid.

As gas prices continue to rise, EVs could become a better economic value for LADWP customers. Compared to regular gas-powered vehicles, the “fuel” cost of an EV is about equal to $1 per gallon.

The range of the rebate will depend on the type of charger and the related equipment installed by the customer. To qualify for the rebate, customers must participate in LADWP’s Residential Time-of-Use Rate, which provides a significant discount for electrical use during “off-peak” hours—weeknights and anytime on weekends.

During these “off peak” hours, EV owners will not only save money – they will take advantage of renewable energy from wind power. By charging at night – the peak hours of wind power and production – owners will maximize renewable wind power and will also ease the strain on the electric grid.

“We expect most of our customers to charge their electric vehicles at night and the result is a double win for the environment,” General Manager Ron Nichols said. “We generate electricity with renewable wind power, and we store that renewable energy in car batteries that then powers Angeleno’s cars during the day.”

The rebate program is part of an overall strategy by the City to ensure that Los Angeles is EV ready. At the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, the Mayor announced a program to help residential customers within the City of Los Angeles go from permit to plug-in for home electric vehicle chargers under 7 days, provided the customer’s electrical system can support the charging requirements.

Components of LADWP’s EV strategy include:

EV Infrastructure: LADWP will upgrade the 86 existing City of Los Angeles owned public chargers. LADWP plans to invest in additional new public chargers after existing ones are upgraded. LADWP will also encourage private owners of older style chargers to upgrade to the new standards.

Data Sharing: LADWP is coordinating with major EV charger vendors to share data regarding EV purchases and driving patterns that will help determine locations for new chargers. LADWP is also developing a standard agreement with charger vendors to meet conditions of the U.S. Department of Energy’s “The EV Project,” aimed at bringing more federal grant funds to the city.

Public Information: LADWP has established a website, www.ladwp.com/EV, for comprehensive one-stop information on the rebate program, installation and permits, rate discount and meter options.

Regional Collaboration: LADWP is collaborating with regional agencies, industry, various jurisdictions and other electric utilities to foster a seamless driving experience throughout the region.

Power Grid Upgrades: EV driving patterns and charging data will be used to help forecast and prepare the electric grid for energy growth related to EVs. The information will also support LADWP’s Smart Grid Demonstration Project.

EV Discount: LADWP offers a 2.5 cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) discount to residential customers who charge their EVs during off-peak hours when demand for energy is lowest (nights and weekends). The discount is available to customers on LADWP’s Residential Time-of-Use Rate, who already benefit from reduced rates during off-peak hours.

Customer Service: A team of LADWP Customer Service Representatives has been trained to answer questions and assist customers with the charger installation process. For direct assistance, customers may call 1-866-484-0433 or email PluginLA  at  ladwp dot com.

To download an application or for the EV Home Charger Rebate and other information, visitwww.ladwp.com/EV.

This is the Mayor’s latest initiative to transition Los Angeles away from relying on dirty diesel to be the cleanest, greenest City in the country. In March, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to ratify a new pilot program to add 30 electric buses to the fleet. After a careful evaluation of whether electric buses do in fact save money and are more efficient, the city will implement the program on a larger scale – setting a national precedent.

 

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>Sustainable Housing, 30/10 and Public Transit in LA

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By Joel Epstein

The conference, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and now in its ninth year, brought together a well-spoken group of leaders from the real estate, transportation, government, finance and planning communities. With a strong lineup of panelists and the show ably MC’ed by City Controller Wendy Greuel, I found myself busily scribbling away as speaker after speaker described successes and the many challenges they face in working to build sustainable housing and mixed use developments in LA County and elsewhere. http://joelepstein.com/

Sustainable Housing, 30/10 and Public Transit in LA

With last week’s epiphany on how the unions should be investors in LA’s 30/10 Initiative going nowhere, I was free to attend Wednesday’s Mayoral Sustainable Housing and Transportation Summit.

30/10 is an innovative idea for accelerating construction of 12 critical voter-approved transportation construction projects in 10 years instead of 30. The conference, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and now in its ninth year, brought together a well-spoken group of leaders from the real estate, transportation, government, finance and planning communities. With a strong lineup of panelists and the show ably MC’ed by City Controller Wendy Greuel, I found myself busily scribbling away as speaker after speaker described successes and the many challenges they face in working to build sustainable housing and mixed use developments in LA County and elsewhere.

LA remains one of the least affordable residential markets in the country and the conference effectively underscored the importance of removing obstacles to building in the city so that working people can find affordable, sustainable housing in safe neighborhoods with good schools within easy commuting distance of their jobs. Yes, that’s a lot of modifiers.

The three panels that made up the generally well-paced program explored [different] definitions of sustainable communities, resources to support a sustainable community, and best practices for sustainable community development.

 
In the second panel discussion Larry Parks of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco captured the challenge explaining that affordable housing developers and transit-oriented development (TOD) advocates need to do a better job of conveying to the media and policy makers that TOD reduces the amount of household income residents must spend on transportation from 25 percent to 9 percent.

Given my bias toward transit-oriented development and sustainable communities with a strong public transit component, my favorite comments came from Metro’s Art Leahy, Senior Deputy Dan Rosenfeld from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office and John Huskey, CEO of Meta Housing.

I am paraphrasing, but here is what I heard them say and/or why their comments rang true.

In his comments Leahy forcefully drove home how Metro’s extensive and costly building program supported by revenue from voter-approved Measure R will create a true transit system out of our already extensive collection of bus and rail lines. This will mean a significantly more transit-oriented LA, conducive to greater mobility for those smart enough, or with no choice but, to ride Metro. Unlike some others in this town who advocate for greater mass transit but don’t themselves take Metro, Leahy earns our respect in part because he is a customer, as well as Metro’s CEO, who uses the system as often as he can.

Rosenfeld focused on the need to rally around greater density at Metro stations and to implement changes that make land acquisition and development around the stations easier. He bemoaned the fact that South LA, from Wilshire Blvd south to Long Beach has seen no transit oriented development around its rail stations even though the area has long had the Metro Blue and Green Lines.

Huskey of Meta Housing captured my imagination with his candid comments about the challenges of developing Adams & Central, a new mixed use development in what was once the heart of LA’s African-American community and an R&B and jazz Mecca. Coincidentally, at the recommendation of Councilwoman Jan Perry I had visited the impressive development which includes a Fresh & Easy supermarket just last week. At least during the day, the development and the market are the envy of most mixed use developments and supermarkets in West LA.

Many of the other speakers spoke of LA’s critical 30/10 Initiative, including Metro Board member Richard Katz who reminded us that those who are speaking of the death of 30/10 are underestimating the merits of the program and the hard work that has gone into creating an infrastructure financing model for the nation. Katz’ wise counsel to the media, including yours truly, is worth heeding, just as many were forecasting Measure R’s demise just before it was approved by a two thirds majority of County voters in November 2008.

Given the sustainability theme, the conference featured some nice touches including a cloth conference tote that will make a nice shopping bag now that the County Board of Supervisors has passed a sweeping ban on plastic shopping bags. The wasteful bags have become known as urban tumbleweed that all too rarely gets recycled.

The LABC tote included a soon to be collectible “Watts Is Worth It” reusable coffee mug, grace à the LA Housing Authority’s Jordan Downs Redevelopment.

At breakfast and lunch, what looked like biodegradable cutlery and unbleached paper napkins accompanied the food. Nice, though as Metro’s Leahy noted, is there really a plentiful water source in Las Vegas, where the bottled water provided to the panelists came from? Am I the only one who remembers when conferences provided a pitcher of ice water and glasses to their presenters?

One more criticism of the otherwise excellent sustainable housing and transportation conference. It appeared as if I was as guilty as most of the other attendees in driving alone to the early morning event at UCLA’s Anderson School. Maybe next year LABC can organize a shuttle from the Metro Wilshire 720 Rapid, the Metro 2 and other buses that make stops in Westwood.

All small issues. Kudos to the LABC for organizing this important conference! Oh, one more thing. The Mayor spoke as well.

Joel Epstein is a Los Angeles-based public transportation advocate and also a contributor to the Huffington Post. http://joelepstein.com/

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>Los Angeles Goes For FiT – Solar Feed-in Tariffs

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Feed-in Tariff Benefits For Los Angeles

If only Los Angeles could bottle the kind of energy seen during Lakers Day Parades, such as the one on Monday, June 21st, there would be little need for discussions about rate hikes and energy consumption. Until that day arrives, the Los Angeles Business Council has been consulting with local stakeholders and helping Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilwoman Jan Perry and others to come up with a Feed-in Tariff plan for Solar energy. This is how it is proposed to work in benefit to Los Angeles the city and its citizens.
  • Ratepayer cost-savings: Future solar installation costs will continue to fall at the same time that fossil fuel costs will rise. Our study finds that ratepayers will save money over the long-term because a solar program will begin to produce energy more cheaply than the utility’s other potential sources of power within five years.
  • Regulatory climate: California law, AB 32, will require all utilities to meet 20 percent of their power needs with renewable sources by the end of the year, a mandate that will soon increase to 33 percent. A FiT program could be an important component in helping utilities to meet renewable energy goals.

Photo courtesy LA Times Blogs

Can’t See The Video?  CLICK HERE

  • A magnet for clean-tech manufacturing: A FiT program would signal a long-term political commitment to greening Los Angeles and could be used as an incentive to attract clean-tech firms and manufacturers to our region and keep them here. Germany—which is home to the world’s largest solar market despite its relatively marginal sunlight— has used a nationwide FiT program to help generate more than 100,000 jobs and build a robust green economy.
  • Job creation: A FiT program would create more than 11,000 high-wage private sector jobs to install, maintain, repair, assemble and manufacture solar panels inside the Los Angeles basin.

What Is A Solar Feed-in Tariff Program?

A solar Feed-in Tariff program allows businesses, public and non-profit organizations, and residents to install solar panels on their roofs and parking lots and sell the power generated back to the local utility. Participants receive a payment back from the utility for each Kilowatt-hour fed back into the power grid. FiT programs can generate a cost-effective source of renewable energy, create local jobs, and bring in revenue for businesses and ratepayers. Successful FiT programs have been put in place around the world. LABC has singled out programs in Germany and Gainesville, Florida as particularly effective models that Los Angeles should look to emulate.

 

Contact the Los Angeles Business Council for more information on the Solar FiT program. This month LABC has been building a broad coalition in support of bringing an ambitious 600 Megawatt Solar Feed-in Tariff  (FiT) program to Los Angeles using the guidelines we have developed in partnership with the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. 

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>California Enterprise Zone

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>Greening Los Angeles – LABC Update

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Designing an Effective Feed-in Tariff for Greater Los Angeles The study  be found here.

 

  labusinesscouncil.org
 
Building a Green Economy: Connecting Sustainability to Business and Job Creation

A Successful Spring Day of  Salons and Solar Powered Possibilities

On April 6th, LABC held the 4th Annual Sustainability Summit at the Getty Center. Key players from the public and private sectors converged, making our Summit prescient and brimming with powerful ideas about, as the summit’s title suggests, Building a Green Economy: Connecting Sustainability to Business and Job Creation.
 
A Solar Plan That’s a Perfect FiT for LA:
LABC Releases a Much Needed Solar Study at the 2010 Sustainability Summit

A centerpiece of the Summit was the release of our Study, Designing an effective Feed-in Tariff for Greater Los Angeles (LINK UPDATED: Click for PDF). This study, the result of a partnership between LABC and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, and a working group of local businesses and public-sector institutions, examines the potential for solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programs in Los Angeles County. The study details how a 500 megawatt FiT program in LA would allow businesses and residents to install solar panels on their roofs and parking lots and sell the power generated back to the local utility. For each kilowatt-hour fed back into the power grid, participants would receive a payment back from the utility.
 
Relying on advanced economic modeling and interviews with businesses and residents in Los Angeles County, the study finds that regional FiT programs would unleash a new source of cost-effective solar energy and spur significant economic growth. The LABC policy  recommends a 10 year Solar FiT that would generate 500 megawatts of electricity. This program would meet three percent of the city’s energy needs, create more than 11,000 local green jobs and produce long-term cost savings for businesses, ratepayers and the LADWP.
 
UCLA Professor J.R. DeShazo, who authored the study and serves as the Director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, presented key findings of the report at the Summit. “If the correct design guidelines are put in place, ratepayers will save money over the life of a ten-year FiT program as the cost of installing solar panels continues to fall and the price of fossil fuels rises,” said DeShazo. “Moreover, developing the country’s largest Feed-in Tariff would signal a long-term political commitment to greening Los Angeles that could be used as an incentive to attract cleantech firms to our region and keep them here.”
 
Since introducing the FiT study at the Summit, we have been presenting its findings to key policymakers in the city from the Mayor’s Office, City Hall, and the DWP Board of Commissioners. For informaiton on LABC’s Solar FiT initiatives, please contact SolarFiTLA@labusinesscouncil.org
 
2010 LABC Sustainability Summit:

The Summit focused on topics relating to sustainability, each addressed by panels comprised of public and private sector leaders. Below is a recap of what the panelists had to say:

Panel 1: Salon of Masters—Discussion of Best Practices Among Sustainable Industry Pioneers
 

From left: The Honorable Jerry Brown, California Attorney General; Lauralee Martin, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle; Scott Lyle, Senior Vice President of Operations, GE/Arden Realty, Inc.; Kevin Ratner, President, Forest City Residential West; Joseph Pettus, Senior Vice President of Fuel and Energy, Safeway, Inc.
 
Moderated by Scott Lyle of Arden Realty, the “Salon of Masters” was a discussion among innovators of Sustainability.  California Attorney General (and Gubanatorial candidate) Jerry Brown and Forest City West’s president, Kevin Ratner reflected upon the obstacles surmounted and in-roads made in their respective roles in revitalizing downtown Oakland. Ratner was the project’s developer and Brown was the Mayor at the time. Both, in the words of Brown, worked to “create vitality” by sending thousands of people to live in Downtown Oakland to revitalize it, and create “elegant density.”
 
Joseph Pettus, Safeway’s Senior Vice President of Fuel and Energy, described Safeway’s path to sustainability from the purview of a company that is one of California’s largest employers and the largest consumer of electricity in the state. Pettus explained that Safeway was one of the first organizations to support AB 32 as well as support cap and trade. They reduced their carbon footprint by more than 10% in just a year, and changed their truck fleet to biodiesel fuel—all this was done to lower costs. Lauralee Martin, Global Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Jones Lang LaSalle reflected upon her “long passion for the environment” and described key questions her company asks with regards to sustainability (whose footprint should we measure – the consumers’ or the producers’?) while identifying the challenges and opportunities when it comes to sustainable business practices. Focusing on key words, “Passion” and “Confusion,” she illustrated how passion relates to the fact that people care and confusion relates to the fact that being a leader in sustainability requires you to do things that have not yet been done, meaning success might not be easy to measure.
Panel 2:  Finding Incentives for Renewables that Work

 
 
From left: Paul Gipe, Founder, Wind Works; J.R. DeShazo, Professor of Public Policy and Director, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation; Randy Britt, Director of Sustainability Initiatives, Los Angeles Unified School District; Mary Nichols, Chairman, California Air Resources Board; The Honorable Paul Krekorian, Los Angeles City Councilmember; Steve Hill, President, Kyocera Solar Inc.; Pedro Pizarro, Executive Vice President of Power Operations, Southern California Edison
 
The second panel, moderated by Mary Nichols, focused on incentives for implementing renewable energy. The conversation among this group of public and private sector experts touched upon the need for, as Councilmember Paul Krekorian put it, “market driven policies,” and each offered observations from their diverse perspectives as private and public leaders in the field of sustainability. Paul Gipe, Founder, Wind Works,and an expert in renewable energy, explained the need for big solar goals and the importance of community involvement and education on the issue (See Gipe’s report on the Summit and the LABC Solar Study here/ and his NYT story on our FiT Study). Steve Hill, President, Kyocera Solar, spoke from his experience as the President of Kyocera Solar, a manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels, describing the importance of keeping manufacturing close to the market and the importance of flexibility and transparency in business and in policy.
Panel 3:  Financing and Developing Green Business
 
 
From left: Greg Medeiros, Vice President of Community Development, Centennial Founders; Adam Werbach, Global Chief Executive Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi S; Alan Rothenberg, President, Board of Airport Commissioners, Los Angeles World Airports; Tom Roell, Group Executive, Parsons; Bill Black, Director of Strategic Solutions, Haworth, Inc.; Tom Unterman, Founder and Managing Partner, Rustic Canyon Partners
 
Alan Rothenberg, President, Board of Airport Commissioners, Los Angeles World Airports, led this broad discussion with a diverse panel of green business leaders by explaining the incredible progress made at LAX with the Tom Bradley Terminal that will be LEED certified , completed on time and on budget, and that also happens to be the largest public works project in LA. The panelists spoke of ways they have met the worthy challenges of green business, from Greg Maderios’ eco-conscious and sustainable development in Tejon Ranch, to Adam Warbach, Global CEO, Satchi & Satchi S’s call for us to rethink the prevailing approaches to environmentalism, rooted in 1970s thinking. Part of that relates to his client, Walmart (a perceived enemy of environmentalism in the past), and its incredible goal to eventually run operations on 100 renewable energy, produce zero waste, and have 100 percent sustainable products on their shelves.

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>L.A. Gets Chinese Green

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Governor Schwarzenegger joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and officials from Chinese manufacturer BYD Auto Company Limited (BYD) to announce BYD, a leader in electric and hybrid vehicles and other renewable energy products, will locate its North American headquarters in Los Angeles. Click here to read more. The above  photo was taken at City Hall in Los Angeles, California April 30th 2010.

BYD’s Los Angeles headquarters will be responsible for sales, marketing, and research and development for its automobiles and energy products, which include solar panels, LED lighting systems and home and grid level energy storage units through BYD’s unique iron-phosphate batteries.

Like California, BYD has been a leader in green; selling the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid vehicle, the BYD F3DM, in 2008 and introducing the first electric car independent of specialized charging stations in the world, the e6, in 2010 to the city of Shenzhen, China.

In Above PHOTO: From left to right: BYD Chairman Chuanfu Wang, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Victoria Bradshaw, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen A. Trutanich, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

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>Mayor V. of L.A. Publicly Commits To Meatless Mondays

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Antonio Villaraigosa

The dashing Los Angeles mayor is fitter than ever before: In a Los Angeles Times interview in January, he boasted about his recent 20-pound weight loss, thanks to regular yoga workouts and a healthy eating plan that includes Meatless Mondays.

For More Meatless Monday Celebs Read Up on The Red, White and Green >>>

by Josie Roman

Thank you everyone who attended the Home Tree Celebration with James Cameron and/or helped us spread the LOVE about the event.

Earth Day became a unique lifetime experience for 5,000+ inter-city at-risk 12-17 year old teens who were bused in for a special Avatar screening, including Q&A with James Cameron and cast, and special Eco-training. All of them left inspired Eco-Warriors!

Then, the evening started with an intimate Strategic Summit with a selective group of environmentalists, film makers, media and celebrities, where everyone showed their commitment to a long-term peaceful Eco-War and Eco-Life. During this meeting James got the Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to publicly commit to Meatless Mondays. For those of you who wonder how this can affect the environment, please read the report below and feel free to do your own research:

Agriculture is responsible for an estimated 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. A significant portion of these emissions come from methane, which, in terms of its contribution to global warming, is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The U.S. Food and Agriculture Organization says that agricultural methane output could increase by 60 percent by 2030 [Source: Times Online]. The world’s 1.5 billion cows and billions of other grazing animals emit dozens of polluting gases, including lots of methane. Two-thirds of all ammonia comes from cows.

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Finally a Green Carpet and a private reception where we showed our support to the Amazonian indigenes who are fighting to stop the depletion of the so-called “Earth lungs”, Cameron received the first Home Tree award, Rosario Dawson showed she could easily win the Oscar for the Best DJ of the Year and all celebrities showed their friendly nature and support. An unforgettable day!

Blessings and remember to love your Planet every day of the year!!!

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Filed under Avatar, Earth day 2010, Eco-training, Green Blog Network, Greening Hollywood, Home Tree Award, Inner city Kids, James Cameron, Mayor Villaraigosa, Meatless Mondays, methane, Rosario Dawson