WeHo aims for zero carbon emissions … by 2030?

City Council on Monday received a first look at the new WeHo Climate Action — a revised roadmap to improving the city’s environmental policies and programs.

It’s the next phase in an effort that began in 2011 when the city launched its first Climate Action Plan.

WeHo has already achieved many of the goals it set a decade ago.

Community-wide emissions have already been reduced by 31 percent, exceeding the benchmark of 20 to 25 percent outlined in the 2011 plan.

The updated plan aims not only to reduce greenhouse gases, but to “center equity and quality of life outcomes” for the community, prioritizing engagement with those who will be most severely affected — namely, older adults, low-wealth households, disabled people and the homeless.

“All residents,” the staff report reads, “no matter their background or experience, deserve to enjoy clean air and water, vibrant green spaces, robust carbon-free transit options, and representation in City processes.”

The plan details a comprehensive list of objectives the city aims to accomplish in the near and long term. Among them:

  • Improving building resistance to heat and other environmental factors which increase strain on the electric grid 
  • Requiring existing buildings and new construction to become fully electric and incorporate EV charging
  • Promoting electric vehicles by making access to charging more widely available
  • Increasing pedestrian activity, including transforming side streets, alleys, and excess road space into public spaces such as paseos or play streets
  • Replacing municipal and public transportation fleets with plug-in electric vehicles 
  • Reaching zero waste at major public events (i.e. LA Pride and Halloween)
  • Implementing a curbside organic waste recycling program
  • Increasing the “urban tree canopy”

The plan’s authors made great effort to involve and receive guidance from the indigenous American community, particularly leading voices of the Gabrileño Tongva and Gabrileño Kizh peoples.

Among the objectives is a goal to “work with the Tongva to transition park landscapes to native and edible landscapes that can be places of gathering, ceremony, and sustenance.”

The plan also sets an ambitious goal for the city to reach carbon neutrality by 2045.

WeHo would need to reduce its emissions by 3 percent per year to get there.

After staff’s presentation, Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne said she didn’t think the plan went far enough. 

“I personally feel like 2045 is too late,” she said. “We are in an urgent climate crisis. I would like us to get there by 2030.” 

Councilmember John Erickson, who campaigned on climate change, posed the question to city staff: “How could we get there by 2030?”

Robyn Eason, manager of Long Range Planning & Sustainability, said the early achievement of goals from the original plan was encouraging.

“I think we can do a lot in 9 years,” Eason said. “It may not be carbon neutrality, but it would likely be very aggressive by then.”

But Chris Rhie, an urban planner and sustainability strategist, urged caution.

“We need to think carefully about the equity ramifications of accelerating actions,” Rhie said. We can’t just mandate widespread retrofits and ask people to pay for it themselves.”

Councilmember John D’Amico believes otherwise.

“I think we can,” said D’Amico. “We mandated seismic upgrades to buildings, and property owners are paying for it. I would argue net-zero retrofits are just the cost of doing business in 2021.”

“We just need the political will,” said Mayor Lauren Meister.

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Ignorance Ain't Bliss
Ignorance Ain't Bliss
19 days ago

A little observation today. After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of Manhattan, great efforts were made to restore historic Battery Park, removing vast amounts of salt from the land and caring for the trees that were not downed. One small aspect, the city enlisted nearby restaurants to contribute all their food scraps into a community compost to rejuvenate the soil and living things eliminating the need to obtain outside sources. One small, meaningful step.

Scott
Scott
21 days ago

It’s time to replace every utility pole with a tree and put all utilities underground.

WehoFan
WehoFan
20 days ago
Reply to  Scott

Agreed.

carleton cronin
21 days ago

Surely, a worthy goal. But West Hollywood’splans cannot bee a singular attempt. Although we are an island of concern in the greater waters of LA County, unless our neighbors also join in such planning our efforts will be overcome by the indifference of others. To be really effective we ned a regional approach My personal view is that it is too late for simple steps and sweeping changes and broad measures must go into effect now. (Phoenix, AZ, recently tried a plan to paint some streets a light grey to reduce storm heat on pavements. A 12 degree reduction –… Read more »

You have reached daily consumption limit
You have reached daily consumption limit
21 days ago

You will eat the bugs
You will live in the pod
You will pay the carbon taxes
You will own nothing
And you will be happy

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
22 days ago

Chris Rhie makes a good point that retro-fit costs maybe dismissed as a “Cost of Doing Business” but for tenants with limited incomes in rent controlled buildings, that translates to “rent increases”. The goals are great; the details may inflict costs on those least able to absorb them.
Still I applaud the City for moving forward and there are plenty of fronts were we can ask developers to do more.

Ignorance Aint Bliss
Ignorance Aint Bliss
21 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

It is always costly to be ignorant. And even more costly when someone shines the light and you still ignore it. Consciousness and longevity are rarely factored into ones makeup….its a broadly adopted manana policy. Simply extrapolated…..the credit card theory. Living beyond one’s means eventually catches up with you. You pay and we all pay for not respecting the environment because we thought it was free.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
19 days ago

Sadly you are right; we can’t take our planet for granted.

Kelly Thomas
Kelly Thomas
22 days ago

And the lights in the West Hollywood Library burn day and night every day….

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
21 days ago
Reply to  Kelly Thomas

They also burn in City Hall which has been mostly vacant for 18 months. Shut it down, seal it up, or get it back to its useful function serving the city. One wonders how much air conditioning is supplied to the entire building for the few people who go there on a given day.

Ignorance Ain't Bliss
Ignorance Ain't Bliss
21 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

They never reveal these statistics. Perhaps we need another “study” that will be labored over for months by highly paid staff. The pile on cost of this becomes exponential and a major insult to the Zero Carbon Emissions concept. But then are we are here for applause, appearances and awards? Fantasy window-dressing.

Juan
Juan
22 days ago
  • Increasing the “urban tree canopy”

Hilarious, it has been 40 years and thy STILL can create a decent tree scape Santa Monica Blvd.

Crookies
Crookies
22 days ago

“We just need the political will,” said Mayor Lauren Meister.

I mean, that’s not how physics work.

Admittedly, it’s the basis of The Secret (Rhonda Byrne), and if we only want to change the world with wishful thinking and positive vibes, it’s as good snake oil as any to grease the wheels of civic administration.

We can have:
First world lifestyle
That’s cheap
Zero emission energy
But we can only pick two of the three

And guess who’s footing the bill for greenwashing their ambitions and puffing up their political resumes?

(That’s you again, little man)

Joshua88
Joshua88
22 days ago

All is welcome. We can do it.

Stevie
Stevie
22 days ago

Yea we’ve already seen how strategically sound buying those beautiful electric Bolts was. But here’s one for all you “greenies.” What are you going to do with the batteries when they’re no longer useable? Can’t recycle them due to cost and toxicity, guess they’ll end up being reused like all those beautiful plastic bottles that were a god send 20 years ago.

Oh btw, wind power? Yea not so good, the fan blades aren’t recyclable either so 1,000 years later? Yep still rotting away somewhere. LOL

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
22 days ago
Reply to  Stevie

Oh btw, wind power? Yea not so good, the fan blades aren’t recyclable either so 1,000 years later? Yep still rotting away somewhere. LOL”

This has to be the worst argument i’ve ever seen about an issue.

But doesn’t surprise me coming from someone who is pro-DUI.

Stevie
Stevie
21 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Worst argument? Really? Isn’t that what’s the problem with all the plastic waste in waterways and dumps never to decompose now? So you and other Nancys don’t worry about what to do with those 100 foot plus fan blades? Just let some great great grandkids worry about it? If that’s your reasoning why drink out of a metal straw

Now go clutch that pearl necklace Nancy and watch the world go by in those rose colored glasses.

Last edited 21 days ago by Stevie
:dpb
:dpb
22 days ago

This council lives in a bubble where everyone is wealthy and money grows on trees. At least they brought up the homeless, albeit the council is concerned with their quality of life in conjunction to climate change. Lolololol. What a group. I’m a bit more concerned about the homeless man that pooped at the corner of Santa Monica and Ramage Street while I was walking home from Pavilions. My quality of life should not have to experience this.

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