OurCounty CAP: The Los Angeles County Climate Action Plan

Los Angeles, USA

The unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County represent a diverse geography, with over one million residents and land that stretches over dense urban neighborhoods, beaches, forested mountains, and rolling deserts.

While each community within the county has unique assets and needs, all are affected by climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions, with impacts that will become more intense over time.

Challenge

In order to deliver on its commitment to carbon neutrality within OurCounty: The Los Angeles Countywide Sustainability Plan, the County needed to amend its existing climate action plan to drive action towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

People buying fresh fruit and vegetables at an outdoor market
With immediate challenges facing our environment, Los Angeles County recognized the need for an expanded commitment towards climate action. Image: County of Los Angeles

Solution

Building upon the successful delivery of the OurCounty sustainability plan, the County again selected Buro Happold to take on the challenge of creating a Climate Action Plan for deep carbon reductions across a region with diverse populations and geographies. Using data gathered from the OurCounty sustainability plan, Buro Happold’s team is developing climate mitigation actions that build upon the guiding principles of the County’s general plan. The resulting actions not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also accelerate the achievement of the County’s broader planning goals, including equitable outcomes for the County’s most vulnerable communities.

People walking along a coastal road in LA
The OurCounty Climate Action Plan builds upon the County’s original commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement to focus on the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Image: County of Los Angeles

Buro Happold is working closely with teams at the County to produce a plan that will identify countywide policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also helping to guide development projects in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Buro Happold is also identifying co-benefits to residents living in these areas.

A tram heading towards central LA
As with the first OurCounty sustainability plan, BuroHappold is working closely with the County to develop a series of climate mitigation actions. Image: County of Los Angeles

Value

Buro Happold’s approach accounts for the scale and complex geographies of Los Angeles County’s unincorporated areas, which cover 2,654 square miles (over twice the land area of Rhode Island). Buro Happold has a proven track record creating climate action plans for deep carbon reductions in large cities and regions, including New York City’s Roadmap to 80×50 and the 1.5°C Plan.

People standing in a flowery meadow in LA
These measures will play a vital role in securing clean air and water and a sustainable climate for the region’s inhabitants. Image: County of Los Angeles

Buro Happold has also demonstrated leadership through our work with C40 Cities on Inclusive Climate Action – In Practice and research on addressing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution simultaneously. Through our work on the OurCounty Climate Action Plan, we are helping the County set a course for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also identifying opportunities to reduce air pollution, improve community health, and create green jobs for county residents.

What is the OurCounty CAP?

In this short explainer video we hear from county, business and community leaders, as well as Los Angeles residents, about why the OurCounty Climate Action Plan matters.

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