Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TODAY: National Conversation on Climate Action in Los Angeles





For Immediate Release: April 22, 2009


Contact: Judy Hammond, LA County Director of Public Affairs, (213) 974-1363

Annie Strickler, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, (510) 844.0699 x328

Los Angeles County Takes Center Stage with “National Conversation on Climate Action,” Unveils Solar Map

“Awareness. Action. Change. Uniting to Go Green” Event Unprecedented Exercise in Community Engagement and Action on Climate Solutions

Los Angeles, California – Hundreds of Los Angeles County residents will gather together today for “Awareness. Action. Change. Uniting to Go Green”—part of the National Conversation on Climate Action. Officially debuting at the event is the ground-breaking LA County Solar Map designed to help homeowners and businesses easily assess their solar power potential.

The event is designed to take the old adage “Think Globally, Act Locally” to a new level and move beyond concerts, rallies and recycling drives to an Earth Day model that truly engages its residents and businesses in a collaborative conversation that drives action at the individual and collective levels.

For more information…

On the National Conversation:

On the LA County Event: and (a post from the Local Action Blog)

On the Solar Map: or

Keynote remarks will be delivered throughout the day. The impressive lineup includes:   Michael Crooke, PhD, a strategic consultant, CEO of prAna Living and former CEO of Patagonia; Commissioner Michael Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission; and Albert Mendoza, CEO and President of Coalition for Clean Air.


"We're excited to be sponsoring this event.  We believe it is the job of planners to educate the public on climate change. This issue will affect generations to come,” said Jon Sanabria, Acting Planning Director for Los Angeles County, Department of Regional Planning.

Participants will be actively engaged throughout the day in a series of moderated roundtables and breakout sessions. Topics include the AB 32 Scoping Plan; what’s new in energy efficiency and renewable energy, including programs and discounts available to the public; how the carbon emissions market will work; planning and regional transportation; and education and workforce development.

“Earth Day 2009 arrives at a unique moment in history, and it demands an equally new, bold approach. We can create green jobs, boost the economy, drive clean energy solutions and fight global warming together, but it starts with a conversation,” said Michelle Wyman, Executive Director of ICLEI USA. “LA County Climate Conversation is the perfect example of how local governments are taking full advantage of Earth Day for their long-term community engagement and planning strategies.”


The LA County Solar Map unveiled at today’s event puts homeowners and businesses a click away from assessing their solar power potential, saving time and money.


By typing in an address, a person will learn the property’s roof size, area suitable for solar panels, electricity produced, electricity savings, carbon reduction, nearby solar installations and case studies, available rebates from utility companies, and information about installers. It is the largest solar map in terms of geographic area in the world, covering 3,000 square miles, according to Acting Chief Information Officer Richard Sanchez, whose department developed the site in conjunction with the Internal Services Department. 


LA County is also developing a program that would assist homeowners and businesses in financing solar panels.  On April 14 the Board of Supervisors approved a motion to create by July a program that would allow property owners to finance energy-efficiency upgrades by borrowing money from the County and paying it back through their property tax bills. 




The National Conversation is lead by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Earth Day Network and AmericaSpeaks. It is supported by the American Planning Association, National League of Cities, Sierra Club, the US Green Building Council and many other prominent organizations.



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