LA Takes Tackling Smog and CO2 Emissions Seriously
Technology leaders from the city of Los Angeles recently announced what they are calling the Zero Emission 2028 Roadmap 2.0. In this outline, the leaders propose a plan by which the bustling metropolis reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% within the next eight years—an ambitious and unprecedented goal that outdoes both the California State and Paris Climate Accord proposals.
Los Angeles is known as a progressive place, filled with creative people willing to adapt to new ideas and fight for just causes. Nevertheless, the SoCal city is also known for its soul crushing traffic. Even with four million residents, finding an Angelino without reason to complain about the town’s constantly congested crisscrossed freeways and lack of reliable public transportation is nearly impossible.
The Californians who devised this plan were not unaware of LA’s traffic issues. Since Many of them live in the city, these tech leaders can tell from the air pollution alone that vehicles are Los Angeles’ heaviest contributors to carbon emissions. If they are serious about their plan, which appears to be the case, then they will have to do something fast about all the cars and trucks smogging up the roads.
The obvious solution would be to create a more effective mass transit system in Los Angeles. However, with an infrastructure unfit for trains and countless failed attempts to move LA drivers onto buses, such a change is unlikely to catch on now. Instead, the planners are looking to the future of electric vehicles for a possible answer to the city’s pollution problems.
The Zero Emission 2028 Roadmap 2.0 focuses heavily on LA’s transition towards EVs. Specifically, by 2028, the plan aims for EVs to account for 80% of all vehicles sold in the city. Simultaneously, it wants LA and the surrounding area to create more EV-compatible infrastructure and zero-emission goods, rebranding the City of Angels as the EV Capital of the World.
City Proposed Solutions as Federal and State Level Options Failed
Of course, not all vehicles emit equally. If Los Angeles wants to achieve its goal by 2028, then it first needs to attack the heavy-duty, gas-guzzling vehicles—buses and trucks. Luckily, as of this year especially, there are many plus-sized EVs for the city to choose from. Tesla recently released the Cybertruck, and many even larger zero-emission vehicles are on the way from a wide variety of car and truck manufacturers. The California Air Resource Board is even proposing an Advanced Clean Truck regulation, which would require one out of every five trucks sold in the state by 2030 to be zero-emission models.
Earlier this year, however, the state of California lost a battle against the Trump administration (as well as a few car manufacturers) for the right to set its own emissions standards. While the Golden State was denied the right to hold itself to a higher ecological standard than the federal government mandates, individual cities have a little more wiggle room. Therefore, Los Angeles is not just creating these standards for itself; it is hoping that these efforts will inspire other municipalities in California and around the nation to follow suit. If the federal government will not solve the problem, and the state governments are barred from taking action, then perhaps it is up to the local governments to evoke change from the bottom up.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in full support of the plan. Known to be an environmentally sensitive politician, Garcetti proposed a Green New Deal to the city back in April, outlining ways for LA to combat climate change. The Zero Emission 2028 Roadmap 2.0 is therefore in his wheelhouse, as it accelerates the already ambitious conservation goals set out in the previous proposal. Also supporting the plan are the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) as well as private sector partners Tesla, BMW, Audi, BYD, Greenlots, and Proterra.
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