Open Mar Vista Blog

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mar Vista Declares Clean Energy Target

The Mar Vista Community Council voted unanimously this week to set a 100% clean electricity target for the neighborhood by 2018, and develop a roadmap to achieve it. The motion had been unanimously approved by the Mar Vista Green Committee two weeks earlier, just days after the conclusion of a three-month community solar program in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mar Vista.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was on hand prior to the event and said he “loved it” of the neighborhood’s clean energy goal. One year ago Mayor Villaraigosa unveiled his Solar LA plan for “sparking a broad movement to solar energy across a city of 4 million residents.” The Mayor’s goal is for Los Angeles to become “a world leader in the solar industry … the cleanest, greenest big city in America.”

The Mar Vista move on climate action was inspired by Al Gore’s July 2008 call for 100% clean electricity nationwide by 2018 – and the subsequent launch of the RepowerAmerica campaign. Mar Vista residents had organized in support of the goal using the social network, Twitter, and Facebook; and gathered signatures at the Green Committee booth at the Mar Vista Farmers Market and at last month’s Mar Vista Goes Green Fall Festival. Mar Vista Green Committee Co-Chair Sherri Akers said of the Council’s vote “We are very confident that Mar Vista will demonstrate to other communities that 100% clean electricity is achievable. The MVCC Green Committee is excited about our role in outreach to make this a reality.”

Solar Installation at Windward
School in Mar Vista (photo by SolarCity)

More than 120 Mar Vista residents recently participated in a three-month GoSolar Mar Vista community program offering seminars on the immediate electricity savings provided by rooftop solar generation, free home assessments, and a group discount on solar installations. SolarCity, the installer selected for the program, has completed twenty-six solar installations in Mar Vista for a total of 105kW of solar electricity production.

The Mar Vista vote came one day before the Los Angeles Times published a new report finding that the cost of inaction on climate change is growing quickly and that “governments must act now to ward off catastrophic climate change or face additional costs of $500 billion per year of delay” for investments such as “building new infrastructure in regions like Africa, preparing coastal zones for sea level rises and more intense storms, and protecting ecosystems.”

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) recently warned the City that the “use of carbon-based fossil fuels has increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our atmosphere, reaching dangerous levels;” and that possible impacts to Los Angeles include “rising tides, violent storms and floods; hotter, dryer days; increased frequency of wildfires; and reduced water and energy reliability.”

Attention to climate action is growing in advance of the upcoming December 7 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen which seeks to find solutions for both highly industrialized countries and developing nations with fast-growing middle classes – and increasingly-American lifestyles. India’s carbon emissions, for example, are expected to rise quickly from 1.2 tons annually per capita toward the 19 tons per capita in America. In launching a website encouraging world-wide grassroots support for climate action, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said “climate change is one of the epic challenges facing this and future generations. World leaders will come together for the Copenhagen climate change conference in December and every citizen of the world has a stake in the outcome.”

Jonathan Bass, Director of Marketing at SolarCity, said “The Mar Vista solar program shows what communities can do for the environment when they act collectively. Mar Vista’s solar installations should offset more than five million pounds of greenhouse gas emission over the next 30 years, the equivalent of planting more than 2,700 trees or taking more than 600 cars off the road for a year.”

Full text of the Mar Vista clean electricity policy motion:

Whereas coal-burning power plants deliver 44% of Los Angeles DWP electricity and yet coal-burning is widely recognized as a major contributor to climate change; whereas significant federal and state funding are available in California to make clean energy solutions such as photovoltaic solar panels affordable for residents and businesses; and whereas 84 Mar Vista residents have signed the petition to repower Mar Vista with 100% clean electricity by 2018; Mar Vista hereby adopts a goal to develop a roadmap and achieve net 100% clean electricity utilization within the Mar Vista community as a whole by 2018.
For questions or additional information about the program, visit or send email to  Click here for social media release and photos.

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