On July 8, 2020, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees signed the committing the community college district to eliminate carbon-based electricity consumption by 2030 and replace all other carbon-based energy use with clean, renewable energy sources by 2040.
The announcement is another major victory in The Climate Reality Project’s 100% Committed™ campaign to accelerate a just transition to clean energy across the US. Moved to act by a team of Climate Reality Leader activists from The Climate Reality Project: Los Angeles Area, CA chapter, the board began considering the benefits of transitioning the nation’s largest community college district to 100 percent clean, renewable energy following the historic passage of a similar resolution by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in December of 2019.
During the long fight to secure LAUSD’s commitment to clean energy, Climate Reality’s Los Angeles Area, CA Chapter Co-Chair Michael Zelniker began conversations with LACCD Utility Program Manager Aris Hovasapian on how the community college district could follow suit. The LAUSD win brought hope and realistic expectations for the passage of a similar initiative by LACCD.
The approval on the resolution is the culmination of a monumental undertaking, including countless phone calls, emails, blog posts, public outreach, school presentations, and meetings with facilities personnel and board members.
“LACCD being the largest community college district in the country, this commitment will have a major impact. Not only on the air quality of Los Angeles County, as transitioning to clean renewable energy will eliminate untold tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, LACCD making this commitment will inspire other institutions to do the same,” says Los Angeles Area, CA Chapter Co-Chair Michael Zelniker.
LACCD is the nation’s largest community college district in the country, educating about 230,000 full- and part-time students annually at its nine colleges serving residents of more than 36 cities and communities all over Los Angeles County. This transition will serve as an inspiring example for similar school districts to follow suit.
“We are very grateful to Board Trustee Steve Veres, Professor Jenna Cole, student leaders Nia Smith and Max Jordan, and many others whose support of our 100% Committed™ campaign initiative was indispensable to getting this resolution passed,” Michael says. “We are very eager to use the example LACCD sets in passing this resolution to inspire other institutions to do the same.”
As the Los Angeles area continues to feel the effects of the climate crisis through wildfires, asthma and other respiratory and medical issues, LACCD contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future by transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy will inspire and empower our children in ways that are beyond measure.