Tuesday, April 24

Professors draft proposal promoting LA environmental sustainability


Lisa Aragona

Multiple UCLA professors called on Los Angeles mayoral and City Council candidates last week to adopt a comprehensive environmental sustainability plan in the upcoming elections.

The UCLA School of Law and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability teamed up to draft the proposal and released it last week in time for Saturday’s mayoral candidates debate.

The authors hope that the plan will help emphasize environmental issues in the debate, said Mark Gold, associate director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and co-author of the proposal.

The proposal condenses 11 environmental aspects, from basic waste and water pollution problems to more comprehensive green buildings, into one 82-page report.

Each aspect of the proposal is designed for city officials to achieved over the next two mayoral terms.

Much of the proposal expands on plans already in place from different environmental organizations that have not completed.

Los Angeles has a goal to become less dependent on imported water but UCLA researchers pushed for the city officials to have slightly more local water sources in a shorter time period, said Cara Horowitz, a UCLA law professor co-author of the proposal.

She added that aspects are more original, such as a plan to implement hundreds of solar reflective roofs on city buildings to reduce energy costs.

The increased focused on environmental improvements is meant to improve the quality of life for Los Angeles residents, she said.

The authors hope that emphasizing more achievable short-term proposals will serve as the stepping stones for the more long-term environmental goals.

Some mayoral candidates have already acknowledged the proposal and are considering incorporating it in their upcoming campaign, according to an article from The Los Angeles Daily News.

“By pulling all of the goals together the city will be more accountable to the public,” said Megan Herzog, an Emmett/Frankel Fellow in environmental law and policy at the UCLA School of Law who co-authored the proposal.

“It makes it easier for people to understand if progress is being made.”

“You have to think about where we want to be 500 years from now,” Herzog said.

“And then set yourself up for where you want to go.”

Four candidates will participate in the mayoral debate to be held Aratani/Japan America Theatre at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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