On Earth Day, the City Council of Los Angeles passed an ordinance requiring builders of large commercial and residential developments to adopt green building rules that would potentially cut millions of tons of pollution over the next decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Wearing a green necktie in honor of 38th Earth Day, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pledged to reduce the city’s carbon emissions 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, an effort that will also require a crackdown on the city’s coal-dependent municipal utility and a move toward electricity from renewable sources.
City officials said about 150 new and renovated buildings, or about 7.5 million square feet, would be covered by the ordinance each year. The rules would amount to preventing about 85,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next five years, the equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from the roads.
The LEED checklist includes such items as low-flow toilets, paints with low emissions, use of recycled materials, efficient irrigation, solar panels and use of natural light.
So far, one state, Connecticut, and 14 cities are requiring private developers to meet green building standards.