The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution to support the U.S. entering into a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty and to reaffirm the city’s commitment to exceed the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions and help curb global warming.
“A new global initiative is underway calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty that will end new fossil fuel exploration and expansion, phase out existing production in line with the essential global commitment to limit warming to well below I.5 degrees C, accelerate equitable transition plans and, facing the economic tsunami caused by the COV1D-19 pandemic, expedite widespread creation of green jobs,” the resolution reads.
More than 100 Nobel laureates, including the Dalai Lama, penned an open letter to world leaders on Wednesday, the eve of 2021 Earth Day, to urge them to adopt the treaty and “avoid a climate catastrophe by stopping the expansion of oil, gas and coal.” The treaty builds on the Paris Climate Agreement, which does not address oil, gas or coal.
The resolution introduced by City Councilman Paul Koretz, which is subject to the approval of Mayor Eric Garcetti, would make Los Angeles the first U.S. city to formally endorse the fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.
The resolution also calls the non-binding Paris Climate Agreement “unfortunately weak” and cites the agreement’s silence on coal, oil and gas, noting that the actions of governments across the world could undo L.A.’s work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Global governments and the fossil fuel industry are currently planning to produce about 120% more emissions by 2030 than what is allowable to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C and avert catastrophic climate disruption, and such plans risk undoing the work of Los Angeles to reduce GHG emissions,” the resolution says.
LA Sanitation and Environment, the lead agency for the city’s environmental programs and initiatives, on Wednesday released its first report on community greenhouse gas emissions. The report focused on 2018 and found that during that year, L.A. reduced its community emission by 24% compared to its 1990 baseline emissions.
The report attributes the achievement to various policies and sustainability programs implemented by the city.
“Los Angeles has long been a global leader in climate action and has been hard at work developing policies and initiatives to reduce its contribution to climate change. This report highlights the impacts these efforts have had in reducing the city’s overall carbon footprint,” Garcetti said. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but it goes to show the change we can make when we come together and work hard for a better future.”
Koretz noted the work the city has done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — through the Green New Deal efforts, the newly created Climate Emergency Mobilization Office, the L.A. 100% Renewable Energy effort, and efforts to end oil drilling in Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Koretz also told his fellow council members before the vote that L.A. needs to do more “to keep our fragile planet well under the essential and safer 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. The extreme storms and extreme drought we’re facing right now here in L.A., and our extreme fire storms, are getting much worse and more costly in lives lost and cleanup costs.”
The resolution reaffirms the city’s commitment to go further than the Paris Climate Agreement and comes days after Garcetti moved up the city’s timeline to get to 80% renewable energy and 97% carbon-free energy by 2030, six years ahead of the city’s previous commitment. He also committed to getting the city to the 100% carbon-free energy mark by 2035, which is 10 years ahead of schedule.
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