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Home / News / Politics / LA City Council to develop climate action, adaptation plan

LA City Council to develop climate action, adaptation plan

by City News Service
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The City Council Friday approved a motion calling on several departments to develop a climate action and adaptation plan to codify green efforts and guide the city forward.

The council members voted 14-0, with Councilwoman Nithya Raman absent during the vote, to support an amended motion introduced by Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky.

Her motion substituted a similar motion introduced by Council President Paul Krekorian on Oct. 20. According to Yaroslavsky, her substitute motion has “support from all relevant parties” and is meant to make clear that “we’re moving forward with developing a climate action plan for consideration in the upcoming fiscal year’s budget.”

Leo Daube, spokesman for Yaroslavsky’s office, told City News Service that the main reason the motion was brought forward is because many of the city’s green policies are not codified into law.

LA’s Green New Deal, for example, — launched by former Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2019, which outlines goals for the city’s sustainable future and addresses climate emergency — set targets and policy recommendations, but are not legally binding.

“What this motion does, it calls for a plan to be developed that then can be turned into ordinance, so that there are legal requirements for the city to meet,” Daube said.

According to Yaroslavsky’s office, the plan will take time to be finalized, and city officials may look to identify funds in the upcoming budget process for the creation of the climate action plan. In subsequent years, once the plan is complete, it will aid in policymaking and decision making, and consolidate the city’s green efforts.

In a report from April 26, the Department of City Planning described climate action and adaption planning as a “critical aspect of how cities must now approach their future growth and development strategies.”

A climate action and adaption plan, however, is defined as a “comprehensive planning document outlining a city’s proposed approach to reduce its impact on the climate (mitigation, or action) and to address climate impact on the city (adaption),” according to the report.

Most policies on climate resilience and sustainability are found in the city’s General Plan — a document containing the city’s vision, goals and policies that guide how the city will grow and develop in the present and in the future.

Where there are existing provisions that outline the major components required to constitute a climate action plan, there are no legal requirements for jurisdictions to adopt such plans.

According to City Planning, some cities put together climate action plans to achieve different goals such as meeting requirements of state laws, meeting international standards like the Paris Climate Agreement or to serve as a visionary blueprint.

The city of Los Angeles has approached climate action planning through developing several plans across city departments, the report says.

According to City Planning, it may cost between $2.5 million to upward of a little over $4 million to create the plan.

The county of L.A. is currently drafting a climate action plan to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and achieving carbon neutrality for unincorporated areas of the county.

In Long Beach, city officials adopted a climate action and adaption plan in August 2022, led by its Planning Bureau of the Development Services Department. The plan was adopted into the Long Beach General Plan, and written to comply with federal laws.

San Francisco city officials adopted a climate action plan in December 2021 to support the city’s commitment to prioritizing climate action and adaption. A follow-up study was incorporated into the plan, which provided a cost-analysis of over $20 billion to fully implement it.

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