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Plan to Tackle Climate Change in LA: 60 Percent of People Living Near Transit, Local Water, and More

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Most of us haven't even made New Years Eve plans yet, but those go-getters at UCLA are already setting goals for 2021. They come in Vision 2021, the "first comprehensive environmental sustainability plan," released by researchers at UCLA this week with the aim of preparing Los Angeles for a future likely affected by climate change, dwindling natural resources, and population growth. Among other challenges. Released now in an effort to frame debates in the upcoming mayoral and City Council elections, the plan is designed to be implemented by whoever comes into power next over two four-year terms. Associate director of UCLA Institute of Environmental and Sustainability Mark Gold told the Daily News that "a lot of times, in the debates, there's talk of how many pocket parks a candidate has created. We felt that there needs to be more sophisticated discussions about the environmental future of L.A." According to a press release, "Vision 2021 LA seeks to turn Los Angeles into the greenest big city in the nation, with a heavy focus on decarbonization, or reducing the city's carbon footprint." The researchers behind the report hope future LA includes, for a start, 100,000 new green jobs, 60 percent of people living near public transit, and at least one healthy food retailer for every three fast food restaurants, and a lot more. One coauthor says "We have to prepare for a changing climate that will reach into every neighborhood, from an increase in the number of days above 95 degrees to a less reliable water supply." From the release, the full list of the plan's biggest goals:

-- Eliminating the Department of Water and Power's use of coal.
-- Moving the DWP to 40 percent renewable energy.
-- Sourcing 32 percent of Los Angeles' water locally.
-- Implementing a low-impact development approach citywide to clean up polluted waters and enhance local water supplies.
-- Piloting "green zones" in neighborhoods like Wilmington, Pacoima and Boyle Heights with disproportionate levels of pollution. Green zones would bar new pollution sources in sensitive areas such as schools and offer incentives to attract green businesses.
-- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 1990 levels.
-- Reducing per-capita water use to 100 gallons per day.
-- Diverting at least 87 percent of waste from landfills.
-- Adding 2 million square feet of solar-reflecting cool roofs to cut indoor cooling costs and reduce the city's heat sink effect.
-- Transitioning 85 percent of the municipal vehicle fleet to zero-emission or alternative-fuel vehicles. [Image via TooMuchFire / Curbed LA flickr pool]
· What can L.A. do about climate change? UCLA report lays out plan [DN]
· Vision 2021 LA [UCLA]

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