The people of the Los Angeles region call for climate action now.
Los Angeles is a community of forward-looking people.We are a city that believes that we can lead fulfilled lives – even in the face of adversity such as damage to our climate – and that if we make the right choices now, our best days are still ahead of us.
By meeting the challenge of climate change, we can create a healthier, safer, more equitable and livable region. We can clean our air, protect our health, improve public transit, create good paying jobs, capitalize on business opportunities, enhance our parks and public spaces, and protect the ecosystems on which we all depend. We must all act – together.
Scientists agree that climate change is happening now and that human activity is the cause. Here in Los Angeles we are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate. Scientists predict that temperatures will increase by 3-5°F in southern California and that our shoreline will rise by a foot within 30 years. Wildfires are predicted to consume more of our hills and forests. Droughts will become dryer, and floods more severe. Yet, in the face of these threats, we remain hopeful.
By leading in Los Angeles, we can inspire other regions, cities, states, and nations to join us on the path to a positive future.
Already our achievements are impressive. Los Angeles emits much less carbon than it did 25 years ago. A quarter of our electricity is powered by solar, wind, and other clean energy. We are on track to reach 50% clean power in 15 years.
The energy sector has made great strides. But we need to insist on more. Food systems, land use planning, and the mobility sector will need to be part of the solution, too.
Ultimately we must transition off of fossil fuels for transportation. Gas and diesel powered transportation are the largest source of climate pollution in Los Angeles. Progress in reducing emissions in the transportation sector has stalled because powerful oil corporations and their lobbyists in Washington DC and Sacramento have killed smart public policy. Some political leaders have shown courage in the face of this pressure. Others have not. We urge all of our political leaders to be accountable to their communities and to take climate action to protect our families’ health and well-being.
Climate change is affecting us all now. It is disproportionately harming low-income communities, people of color, and other vulnerable groups. Climate solutions must be designed in partnership with communities to redress these social inequities, advance economic development, and to provide justice for those who will experience the greatest negative impacts of climate change.
We have an obligation to act, to build a better future for our children and grandchildren, and to sustain the planet on which all life depends.
With this declaration we charge our elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government to boldly meet the challenge of climate change to protect our families and communities and create a prosperous future. And we encourage other community leaders, from business, faith, health care and public health, education, and other sectors to craft, support, and participate in positive climate solutions for our community.