Home » L.A. officials plan to make all new buildings carbon neutral

L.A. officials plan to make all new buildings carbon neutral

by Sion Geschwindt
L.A. officials plan to make all new buildings carbon neutral

The Los Angeles City Council has passed a motion instructing several city departments to begin work on a framework that would require all new residential and commercial buildings in the city to produce net-zero carbon emissions.

Passed on May 27th, the motion may see a roadmap to net zero carbon buildings published before the end of 2022.

“We have lagged behind other California cities in tackling our largest source of climate pollution citywide: buildings,” the motion reads.

“Over fifty cities and counties in California have already taken action to reduce carbon emissions in new building construction and prepare their buildings for a carbon-neutral future. It is time for Los Angeles to do the same.”

According to the motion, buildings in Los Angeles are the largest emitter in the city, accounting for 43% of L.A. greenhouse gas emissions. The 43% figure is significantly above the average nationwide contribution of buildings to their city’s emissions (30%), as well as the average California figure (25%).

The motion instructs the Department of Building and Safety, among other departments, to report back to the council in 180 days with a plan to implement a framework for decarbonisation, to be implemented on or before January 1st 2023.

Under the city’s instruction, the framework must not place the economic burden of transitioning to decarbonised construction on low-income tenants or contribute to the affordable housing crisis. The framework must also include strategies to mitigate and offset any impact to construction jobs.

While the motion states that new buildings must rely on the electric grid as an energy source rather than fossil fuels, it does not directly address the embodied carbon cost of materials used in construction.

Image: The Los Angeles skyline (Larry Gibson/Shutterstock)

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