The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday passed a resolution in support of state legislation that would require major corporations that do business in California to disclose their carbon footprint and set goals to reduce emissions.
The Climate Corporate Accountability Act, introduced by Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, would require businesses that make more than $1 billion annually to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is understandable and accessible to the public and to set emission reduction targets.
Wiener issued a statement Wednesday that it’s important to hold large corporations accountable for their contributions to climate change.
“I’m proud to support Senator Weiner’s innovative efforts,” said Councilman Paul Koretz, who introduced the resolution. “Ninety percent of the S&P 500 released sustainability reports in 2019, but those reports are often too little, too late. Large corporations carry an immense carbon footprint, and if they’re going to make headway on reducing emissions, they need to more effectively count and report those impacts.
“At the same time. the city provides a number of services — from lighting and maintaining municipal buildings, facilities and streetlights, to paving roads and operating a transit fleet, and delivering water and operating reclamation facilities — all of which come with environmental impacts,” he said. “If we’re going to take our carbon reduction goals seriously, and make a real difference in the lives of frontline communities near LAX and the Port of Los Angeles, we need a better, more consistent, and more transparent accounting of our emissions.”
Toward that goal, Koretz introduced a motion Wednesday — along with Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Mike Bonin — to improve tracking, transparency and accountability regarding Los Angeles’ carbon footprint.
The motion would instruct the Bureau of Sanitation, Chief Legislative Analyst, Information Technology Agency, Department of Water and Power, Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports and City Administrative Officer to collaborate on a report on the feasibility of developing or procuring artificial intelligence technology and services to provide accurate and regular reporting on the city’s greenhouse gas footprint and metrics on the city’s progress on goals presented in the 2019 Green New Deal Pathway.
“Data drives decision-making, and without data, we cannot chart a path towards a zero-emission future,” Buscaino said in a statement. “Today’s generation of leaders must continue to address climate change with urgency and be held accountable to the goals we set for Los Angeles, and this motion sets us on the path to do just that.”
Bonin said: “Technology is available that will help us combat climate change through better transparency. We have an obligation to do everything in our power to prevent the worst damage caused by the pollution poisoning our climate — and that work requires good information. This action brings us closer to harnessing technology to get a better understanding of how we can reduce our carbon pollution, which will allow us to chart a course toward a cleaner and more sustainable Los Angeles.”
Wiener thanked the Los Angeles City Council for working toward a common goal of combating Climate Change.
“As government officials, we also have a responsibility to ensure our municipalities are transparently tracking and reporting carbon emissions, so I commend the City Council for moving Los Angeles in that direction. Fighting climate change takes a huge team effort and numerous strategies. I look forward to continuing to work with the Council on this critically important effort,” the senator said.