My Vision: A "Green" LAX
The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the gateway to our City. It forms the first impression millions of travelers develop of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it is also a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change, and a source of pollution that our residents endure on a daily basis.
I strongly believe that LAX should be held to the highest environmental standards and become the "greenest" airport in the world. To help achieve this goal, I introduced a motion to the City Council last October for LAX to develop an aggressive 10-year program to make this vision a reality.
What is my vision of "greening" LAX? One in which our airport significantly reduces its greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. An airport that maximizes water and energy conservation measures. An airport that incorporates a comprehensive recycling program.
To implement this goal, I called for this 10-year strategy to include, but not be limited to the following objectives:
- Completing the Green Line extension to LAX; reducing thousands of car trips by employees, vendors and travelers;
- Reducing carbon dioxide levels to the year 2000 levels by 2010, in line with the Executive Order signed by Governor Schwarzenegger;
- Requiring new construction projects to meet the highest sustainable building standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED), which will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy use in building, cooling, heating and lighting at LAX;
- Maximizing the use of reclaimed water, both within buildings and for landscaping;
- Developing a comprehensive strategy to clean and reuse stormwater runoff; and
- Development of a long-range plan for a carbon neutral footprint by 2030.
I am excited to see that the Board of Airport Commissioners was spurred to action by my motion, and will be considering a motion of their own at their next meeting which incorporates some of the issues I have raised. I look forward to working with them to ensure that the full complement of issues needed to green LAX are considered.
The City of Los Angeles needs to show leadership on reducing global warming and redouble our efforts to be good stewards of the environment. Transforming LAX into the greenest airport in the world is a huge step in this direction; one that will not only benefit the citizens of Los Angeles, but help in the global fight against climate change.