Jasmin Vargas, Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch. 

Food & Water Watch and the Sunrise Movement L.A., joined other groups and community leaders rallied at the steps of City Hall, asking Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council to transition Los Angeles to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.

Encouraged by Garcetti’s recent announcement to cancel plans to rebuild three coastal gas plants, the advocates have launched a campaign to pressure the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to adopt 100 percent renewable energy on an expedited timeline.

“We stood with Mayor Garcetti when he announced his decision to scrap the rebuilding of LADWP’s in-basin gas plants, and we will be there when the mayor and the city start implementing a fair and just transition to 100 percent renewable energy,” said Jasmin Vargas, senior organizer with Food & Water Watch, speaking at the rally before the scheduled council meeting.

“We, the people, are the solution to the climate crisis and we must guarantee that displaced oil and gas workers and members of communities hardest hit by pollution get priority when creating new, clean energy jobs.”

LADWP is currently studying a transition to renewable energy by 2045, but environmental advocates and community members — arguing the need for urgency in a climate crisis — are demanding a 2030 deadline for clean, renewable energy and an equitable and just transition for workers and communities.

Food & Water Watch cited a study authored by Synapse Energy Economics last year that states with a combination of new wind and solar sources, investments in storage and energy efficiency and smart management of the grid, the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water (LADWP) can achieve a 100 percent clean energy system in that timeline.

The study recommended that LADWP invest in energy efficiency, demand response, battery storage and promote local solar installations. 

“It is, in fact, possible to meet 100 percent of hourly energy needs in LA with renewable sources in 2030,” said report co-author Spencer Fields, an associate with Synapse Energy Economics. “We have outlined just two of several potential paths towards a clean energy future for Los Angeles.

“It is imperative that over the next few years the city and LADWP both take the easy early actions—such as investing more in energy efficiency and solar resources—as well as continuing to establish an appropriate plan of action to conquer the harder questions in the 2020s to complete the transition to an entirely renewable grid.”

LA Councilmember Mike Bonin (11th District) joined the advocates on the City Hall steps.

“We are out of time. We need to start putting the New Green Deal into action — and that is what Los Angeles is doing,” Bonin said. “By rapidly transitioning to truly clean and renewable energy resources, we can end the use of dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, as well as create good jobs, a thriving economy, and a more equitable society.”

Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter said that Los Angeles could lead the country in the critical transition to renewable energy.

“The science shows we must immediately transition away from fossil fuels and cities like Los Angeles can and must lead the way in addressing the climate crisis,” Hauter said. “Los Angeles is poised to become a national model for a clean energy transition that brings meaningful reductions in emissions and new economic opportunities. We need our political leaders to have the courage to mandate clean energy.”

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