This rainy morning I was invited by Clean Tech Los Angeles to attend a pretty cool announcement at City Hall. Mayor Villaraigosa and former President Clinton announced a five-year project to make the city’s street lights more energy efficient. Anytime you can hear a former president speak in person on President’s Day, you gotta go for it. And he didn’t disappoint, providing compelling insight on the new stimulus package and the global economic crisis.
Spearheaded by the Clinton Climate Initiative, the plan calls for swapping out 140,000 of LA’s residential street lights with more energy efficient LED lights and would be the largest program of its kind undertaken by a city. A little perspective – normal street lamps last four to six years, while LED lights last up to 10 years. The Mayor says it’ll save Los Angeles $48 million over the next seven years, and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40,500 tons each year (the equivalent of taking 6,700 cars off the street).
LA is on an ambitious mission to become the model “green city” and this is just one of the trendsetting (hopefully) initiatives they have in motion. The city is backing up their talk too, with billions of dollars of investment and attractive incentives to make Los Angeles the premier destination for innovative cleantech ventures and entrepreneurs. I’m currently part of the Clean Tech Kitchen Cabinet, which is a group of talented entrepreneurs, evangelists, investors, creatives, and media professionals in the socially-constructive space that get together once a month to discuss and share their ideas for a better & greener LA.
Even Tamara Henry , Ms. Arkansas 1997 showed up with her vintage sash. A tad bizarre. Not sure if she got her hard-hitting interview with Bubba or not, but she definitely attempted to badge her eco cred with her choice in wardrobe color.
In all seriousness, let’s hope the street light conversion initiative will further establish LA as credible leader in the Clean Tech movement. It’s definitely another encouraging step. The city is proving more and more than it wants to be known for impactful results other than just box office receipts and cosmetic surgeries.