Students from Long Beach Polytechnic High School hold signs outside the Long Beach Unified School District headquarters building during a Feb. 2, 2022 Board of Education meeting. The students are asking the district to pledge for the district to take action on climate change and phase out the use of fossil fuels. (Credit: Richard H. Grant)

Introducing our new solutions reporting project, 2035

When we crunched the results from our news needs survey, we found that 31% of respondents wanted to see climate coverage

We asked. You answered. And now we’re getting to work.

As we started diving into the world of climate and environment issues affecting Angelenos, one year kept popping up: 2035.

Back in 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a goal of having all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state be zero-emission by 2035. In August 2022, the California Air Resources Board voted to move ahead with a ban on the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by the same deadline. California was the first state to take such a step, but others have since followed suit. Beyond the gas ban, how can the city address the ongoing health and economic impacts of transportation?

In January 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order on the climate crisis, which called for the development of a plan to achieve a carbon pollution-free energy sector by 2035. Later that year, the L.A. City Council passed a motion likewise directing the Department of Water and Power to establish a plan for achieving 100% carbon-free energy for the city within the same time frame. Introduced by council members Paul Krekorian and Mitch O’Farrell, the motion underscored the need for an equitable approach to the changes. What does energy equity look like in a city that has struggled with economic inequity?

In the wake of yet another heat wave, the Los Angeles Board of Education voted last September in favor of all school campuses having at least 30% green space by 2035. Schools that currently have the most asphalt are to be the priority for greening efforts. How will the city budget to ensure green space is appearing where it’s needed most?

These executive orders, policies, and votes are more than just words on paper. They’ll mean changing landscapes at our kids’ schools, income streams for local mom-and-pop repair shops, cooking setups at family restaurants and health outcomes for residents living near freeways.

For the next several months, AfroLA will be taking a closer look at how these proposed changes will affect Black Angelenos and other historically-marginalized communities in the future, what’s happening right now in our communities, and how we got here–to this point–in the first place.

We hope you’ll join us for 2035, our new solutions reporting series on how Los Angeles is facing and attempting to meet its climate goals and what that means for the people who live here.


Aerial via of smog settled over Los Angeles freeway interchange.

Unequal air: The pollution legacy of segregation and the freeway boom in Los Angeles

Generations of racist urban planning divided L.A.’s Black and Latine neighborhoods and prevented movement of the same communities out of areas near major roadways and other polluting infrastructure. For years now, residents have paid the price with their health.

Help shape our coverage.

AfroLA's work is driven by what our audience tells us that they need and want from us as a local news provider. Take our information needs survey. (C''ve got a few minutes to spare.)

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