Environmental Defense Fund Commends Green Program in LA

April 13, 2009

LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) applauds the city of Los Angeles for its leadership in establishing the nation's first public-sector green building retrofit program that will create green jobs and reduce carbon emissions.

The ordinance calls for the green retrofitting of all city-owned buildings that are more than 7,500 square feet or were built before 1978, using guidelines from the U.S. Green Business Council and others. It sets a goal of starting 100 retrofits annually and priority will be given to projects with high community-impact level. Its green careers program features training and placement for local, low-income and underemployed workers. The ordinance creates two management positions, an interdepartmental taskforce and an advisory council of experts and stakeholders to oversee, guide and report on progress.

"The 'Green Building Retrofit Ordinance' shows how environment and energy policies can stimulate California's economy. It will put people to work in green jobs, generate revenue for local businesses, save L.A. taxpayers up to $6 million in energy costs and cut global warming pollution," says Derek Walker, director of EDF's California Climate Initiative. "Los Angeles is setting an example that cities nationwide can follow."

"There are tremendous opportunities for employment in the green economy and this ordinance shows how community, labor and environmental groups can work together to link environmental policies with valuable green job training, placement and apprenticeship programs," says Tim O'Connor, attorney and climate change analyst at EDF.

Environmental Defense Fund has published numerous regional and national green jobs studies and resources, including a California Green Jobs Guidebook done in partnership with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and endorsed by the Apollo Alliance. EDF is planning to release an online green jobs map of companies across California that are powering the state’s green economy—covering sectors from architecture to wind energy.

One of the fastest growing sectors of the new economy is green buildings. Buildings use approximately 40 percent of energy in California, and the least costly way to reduce emissions is by improving energy efficiency. Environmental Defense Fund is advocating for statewide green building standards and compliance measures to help California meet emissions reductions targets established by The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). EDF is currently sponsoring AB 828 (Lieu), which would set up a collaborative interagency process for developing standards and help California maximize green building benefits by engaging the successful and critical work of agencies charged with protecting the state's public health and environment.

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit www.edf.org.

For more information, contact Lori Sinsley of Environmental Defense Fund: (415) 308-6970, or [email protected].

Source: Environmental Defense Fund (www.edf.org)

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