Paris and Los Angeles are both preparing to host huge international Olympic events - Paris will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, just six years away, and L.A. will have that same honor four years later in 2028.



One of the 160 BMW i3 electric cars that the Los Angeles Police Department is leasing at a cost of $10.2 million,
which includes charging stations installed at police facilities. (Photo courtesy LAPD)



Both their mayors - Anne Hidalgo in Paris and Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles - want to electrify their city fleets before the international crowds pour in for the Olympic Games.


Last week, Mayors Garcetti and Hidalgo brought climate leaders of cities, regions and industry together for a Forum on Clean Transportation, ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. They explored innovative ways for cities to make their transportation systems more sustainable.


Climate Mayors, a network of 400+ mayors of U.S. cities co-founded in 2014 by Mayor Garcetti, is proving to be a prime mover by electrifying their city fleets.


By committing to "adopting, honoring, and upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement," this bipartisan group is taking a leading position on climate conservation as President Donald Trump has turned his back on the Paris Climate Agreement.


At the forum Paris Mayor Hidalgo called the Climate Mayors, "...part of an unstoppable global momentum for change."


"It is inspiring to see so many American Climate Mayors committing to transform their fleets into electric vehicles," she said.


Mayor Hidalgo also serves as Chair of C40 Cities, a network of 96 megacities committed to climate change action and an organizer of the Summit.


"Thanks to the bold leadership shown by C40’s member cities, millions of polluting cars, vans, and buses will soon be replaced by clean alternatives," she said. "Cities are concretely getting the job done, delivering on the highest goals of the Paris Agreement and cleaning the air that our citizens breathe."


At the forum, the mayors were invited to participate in a newly created joint purchasing collaborative and  portal for electric vehicles and parts aimed at bringing down EV prices.


A new 2028 Zero Emissions Roadmap from the L.A. Cleantech Incubator (LACI) also got a lot of attention during the forum.


Roadmap targets include ensuring that 20 to 45 percent of all passenger cars are electric by 2028, and 10 to 40 percent of all heavy-duty drayage trucks on the road are zero emissions by 2028.


The 1.0 version of the Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap was released by the new and unprecedented Transportation Electrification Partnership, which includes LACI, the Office of Mayor Garcetti, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the County of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Southern California Edison.


"Using the deadline of the Olympics in 2028, we can use the L.A. region’s can-do attitude along with California’s leadership to make things possible that were never before," said CARB Chair Mary Nichols. "That’s why this partnership is so powerful and critically important to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cleaning up our air, and leading the transition to a zero-emissions future."


These efforts are a complete turn-around for the City of Los Angeles, which has been known for decades as Smog City. A victim of its own landscape, the surrounding mountains combine with temperature inversions to trap dirty air over this city of 6.5 million cars.


"Climate change doesn’t respect any city lines or national borders, so our response to it requires strong partnerships, unified action, and the urgency demanded by the greatest threat to our planet’s health and our families’ futures," said Mayor Garcetti.


He views the roadmap as an important way of clearing L.A. air for Olympic athletes from around the world. "This Zero Emissions Roadmap will help us set ambitious transportation targets in our Sustainable City pLAn," the mayor said, "while strengthening L.A.’s economy, reinforcing our commitment to environmental justice, and accelerating the reduction of dangerous emissions between now and the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games."


By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

September 17, 2018