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Last month, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Summit in Seattle-where mayors from around the country shared their green accomplishments and challenged each other to do more for the pursuit of a sustainable, carbon neutral country. Mayor Villaraigosa's speech from that event was entitled "Global Warming and Local Responsibility," which offers L.A. as a model for sustainable cities around the country.
"The facts are all around us. The U.N. Climate Change study earlier this year slammed the case shut. Increases in greenhouse gases can be attributed to human activity with a ninety-percent degree of certainty, and the "warming of the climate system is unequivocal." The fact is, in my home state of California, we're looking at a dry century, with temperatures expected to rise by between three and 12 degrees."
"I tell people practically everywhere I go: my administration's goal is to make Los Angeles the cleanest and greenest big city in America. Now, I have to admit that when I say that, sometimes people ask me whether I'm talking about Los Angeles, California. And they're right to ask. Our past-like America's past-hasn't always been synonymous with sustainability."
"We are owning up to the fact that, since we hold title to our utility, the city of Los Angeles directly owns roughly one-third of our carbon emissions...So, when I came into office, we set a goal of getting 20 percent of our energy from renewable sources by the year 2010. I'm proud to say that in just two years, we've nearly tripled our renewable portfolio."