LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) approved on Tuesday a resolution committing to using 100% clean, renewable energy sources, including in its transportation services.
The resolution, sponsored by three members of LAUSD’s board of education, promotes the district’s transition to clean, renewable energy by 2040, according to a news release from LAUSD. The district’s board members are also calling on city, state, and federal officials and government agencies to work alongside LAUSD in taking rapid and effective action on climate change to protect current and future students and their families.
“Transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy is a courageous endeavor; it is an aspiration, but we have to put it out there as something that we aspire to do as a policy and not as a discussion item,” said Dr. George J. McKenna, LAUSD board member and co-sponsor of the resolution. “We will convene a task force of diverse voices to examine the feasibility, assess costs, gaps, and opportunities for the district to achieve this bold goal.”
The clean energy resolution was initially introduced to the board on Nov. 5 after a team of advocates from the Los Angeles chapter of The Climate Reality Project urged members of LAUSD’s board of education to consider the benefits of transitioning to clean energy, according to a news release from the agency.
"Given the realities of the [climate] crisis we face and how critical it is that everyone get on board, virtually everywhere we turned, we met with enthusiastic support and a willingness to assist us in getting this done,” said Michael Zelniker, co-chair of The Climate Reality Project, and Sybil Azur, co-lead of the clean energy campaign 100% Committed. “We are profoundly grateful to the many LAUSD students, teachers, parents, and activists who are members of our very large and committed coalition.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of 2018, the Fourth National Climate Assessment, local and international climate scientists, and the City of Los Angeles have declared a climate crisis, calling for a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by 2030, and net zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to LAUSD.
Los Angeles Unified, which ranks as the fourth-largest school bus fleet in the nation, according to School Bus Fleet’s most recent Top 100 School District Fleets list, reports that it has already committed to reducing 20% of its energy consumption.
Additionally, the district has engaged in several green school transportation initiatives over the years, including the addition of two electric school buses, the creation of a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station, and the addition of 71 CNG school buses.
View a tweet from Climate Reality Project about LAUSD's approval of its clean energy resolution below.
.@LASchools just committed to 100 percent clean, renewable electricity by 2030! Thank you @DrGeorgeMcKenna @boarddistrict2 @ScottAtLAUSD @nickmelvoin @Jackie4LAkids @Kelly4LASchools @richardvladovic for choosing to #LeadOnClimate. @laclimateleader https://t.co/Jh76DQcHQW pic.twitter.com/iTYEoynbr3— Climate Reality (@ClimateReality) December 4, 2019