L.A. County sustainability plan developed by UCLA and other partners approved by Board of Supervisors

August 6, 2019

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved L.A. County’s first sustainability plan, OurCounty on August 6, 2019. The plan outlines ambitious sustainability goals targeting a range of environmental, economic and equity issues.

The plan was created by the L.A. County Chief Sustainability Office in partnership with UCLA, BuroHappold Engineering, and the Liberty Hill Foundation. UCLA research was used to set evidence-based targets to ensure the region reaches every goal within the allotted timeframe.

The plan sets goals for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, sourcing 80 percent of the County’s water locally by 2045, and protecting the County’s 4,000 species through “no loss of native biodiversity.” Environmental equity is at the core of the plan, which addresses the disproportionate exposure to pollution that disadvantaged communities have historically experienced.

Cassie Rauser, director of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (SLA GC), told KCRW that the goals outlined in the plan are achievable. For example, to source 80 percent of water locally, Rauser said that L.A. County would need to capture more rain and make better use of groundwater.  “If we capture our stormwater, and we recycle the water that we are using… we can use that water to replenish our groundwater system,” Rauser said.  

Los Angeles County is home to more than 4,000 distinct species of plants and animals, and the sustainability plan aims for “no loss of native biodiversity.” (Photo Credit: Jake Dobkin)

The goals outlined in OurCounty align with the SLA GC goals of 100 percent renewable energy, 100 percent local water, and enhanced ecosystem health for LA by 2050.

The following UCLA faculty and staff contributed to OurCounty:

Project Leads:

Felicia Federico (Institute of the Environment and Sustainability)
Mark Gold (Sustainable LA Grand Challenge)
Sean Hecht (UCLA School of Law)
Cara Horowitz (UCLA School of Law)
Laurel Hunt (Institute of the Environment and Sustainability)
Stephanie Pincetl (California Center for Sustainable Communities)
Cassie Rauser (Sustainable LA Grand Challenge)

Researchers/Analysts:

Robert Cudd (Institute of the Environment and Sustainability)
Eric Fournier (Institute of the Environment and Sustainability)
Harjot Kaur (UCLA School of Law)
Sean Kennedy (Institute of the Environment and Sustainability)
Jaimee Lederman (Institute of Transportation Studies)
Nathaniel Logar (UCLA School of Law)
Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat (Sustainable LA Grand Challenge)
Ari Simon (Institute of the Environment and Sustainability)

Technical Advisory Committee/ Review Committee:

David Eisenman (Fielding School of Public Health)
Juan Matute (Institute of Transportation Studies)

Learn more at UCLA Newsroom.

Additional Coverage:

LA County adopts bold sustainability plan KCRW, 07 Aug 2019