Local Climate Leadership: Garrett Wong

Posted by on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Garrett Wong is Senior Sustainability Analyst for the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment and will be a guest speaker at our next Leadership Circle Quarterly Meeting on February 7th.

Tell us about your work related to climate.

I lead policy, programs and projects in climate action & adaptation planning, energy efficiency and renewable energy and electric vehicle charging. We started with the City’s first Climate Action Plan in 2013; an EV Action Plan in 2017 and now a forthcoming Climate Action & Adaptation in 2018.

What inspired you on your career path? And what or who inspires you now?

I spent a year in India working on sustainable development issues. There, many Indians admire the US for its wealth and aspire to have more things like Americans do. From then, I felt it was necessary to make my community (SoCal), a better example of sustainability.

I feel really wonky, but I like doing GHG inventories and plans. It’s technical, yet bridges many sectors so it requires a breadth of knowledge and engagement with others.

Also, I have a daughter now and it’s pretty grim to think about the world she is growing up in.

What are the barriers you face in work — and what could make your job easier?

Time and capacity. Which also means there is a lot of great work to do and I just can’t do it all. Our team is growing, as it used to be just me, so it’s getting easier.

A genie grants you two wishes that will help fight climate change. What do you ask for? The third wish is for anything you want (sky’s the limit!).

  1. Make Santa Monica its own CCA (don’t tell anyone else that!).
  2. Pull together some kind of cross-sectoral turnkey project and finance delivery model to address multitenant building needs (energy, water, solar, storage, EVs, seismic).
  3. A sweet RV to travel all the national parks.
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