Los Angeles needs clean air and a healthy climate.

up, down, or space moves by page, left or right moves by topic, o toggles zoom

Los Angeles needs clean air and a healthy climate.

We’ve been working to clean up the air for decades

but we still have the dirtiest air in the country.

LA plans to have cleaner air by 2031

But air is getting worse, not better

We need to reduce emissions even more than planned


What is in dirty air, and where does it come from?


Ozone is formed when fuels and exhaust in the air are exposed to sunlight.

Even supposedly clean cars and gas appliances emit smog-forming chemicals that make LA’s ozone problem worse.

Ultrafine Dust

Houses near busy roads are exposed to dangerous levels of ultrafine dust (PM2.5), which can cause multiple health problems.

Brakes and diesel engine exhaust both contribute to the problem.

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gasses build up in the atmosphere, trapping heat, and bringing more extreme weather such as heat waves, which can themselves bring higher levels of smog and unhealthy air.

Burning any fossil fuel, or leaking unburnt natural gas, both contribute to the problem.

Indoor exhaust

Burning fossil fuels indoors without adequate venting can be dangerous.

Gas stoves are linked with asthma and other health problems.

How can we stop smog and climate change?

How can we stop smog and climate change?

Make things more efficient

Make electricity cleaner

Make things smarter

Electrify everything


Can electrifying cars help solve LA’s smog?


Zero emission cars are an essential part of the fight against dirty air. They’re cheaper to drive, too.

In 2015, the city set a goal of 10% electric cars by 2025

The city and county’s Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap proposes a goal of 45% electric cars by 2028

Here are some ideas that could help meet those goals:

EV capable parking

Many folks would get EVs if they could charge at home.

Chargers are far cheaper if planned when house built.

LA requires 5% of new spots be EV capable, and is considering raising that to 20%.

West Hollywood, Oakland, San Francisco, and Palo Alto all require most new parking be EV capable.

LA should, too.

Workplace EV charging

Workplace EV chargers encourage people to buy EVs

Charging EVs during the day reduces pollution

LADWP and AQMD already provide some incentives to install workplace chargers

LA should consider requiring them

Smart chargers

Everyone charging at the same time can overload power lines, and charging during peak hours can force utilities to use expensive and dirty sources of power.

Smart chargers solve this by charging faster when clean power is plentiful

Some utilities offer a monthly discount for smart chargers

LADWP should, too.


Can electrifying homes help solve LA’s smog?


Zero-emissions water and space heating is an important part of the fight for clean air

But most new homes in LA burn (and leak) natural gas.

After the Aliso Canyon blowout raised risk of natural gas shortages, the City Council asked for ideas on how to electrify LA’s buildings and reduce natural gas use.

So here are a few ideas.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats can save energy, act as virtual batteries by prewarming or precooling buildings, and help avoid blackouts.

60% of homebuyers want smart thermostats

The 2020 California building code will encourage them

Austin requires them in new homes, with good results

Los Angeles should, too.

Solar roofs

Rooftop solar panels reduce pollution and reduce load on power lines

Building them in from the start is cheaper than adding them to old buildings

The state will require them on new buildings in 2020

Eight California cities and Alameda County already do

Los Angeles should, too…

Electric homes

LA currently makes it very hard to not use natural gas in new buildings.

The 2020 California building code will get rid of some of the obstacles.

Sacramento is actively encouraging all-electric homes

Los Angeles should, too.

See also

Electrify everything (National Observer)

The key to tackling climate change: electrify everything (Vox)

Reduce Demand. Clean up electricity. Electrify everything. (Treehugger)

Electrify Everything: 7 Practical Steps to Using 100% Renewable Energy

What Does It Take to Electrify Everything in Your Home? (GTM)

“Electrify Everything” is Too Simple (Climateworks)

Electrify everything (NEMA)

See also


Climate Resolve





Vision 2020

See index for much, much more

Past presentations

Climate Change and Me

Climate Change and Los Angeles

2018 Neighborhood Council presentation on EV parking

Spare Slides

Heat waves can be deadly, and are getting worse

Adding shade (awnings, trees, shrubs), installing air conditioning, and insulating homes can help protect against heat waves

Traffic from new buildings

Land-use rules that encourage building more homes near transit can reduce gridlock and smog

Rules requiring parking raise congestion and costs

Land-use rules that allow unbundled or fewer parking spots can encourage walkability and reduce gridlock, smog, and housing costs.

Smoggy gardening tools

Gas-powered lawnmowers pollute more than cars!

Switching to electric lawnmowers and trimmers is quieter and cleaner

Icon credits

  • smog by Gan Khoon Lay from the Noun Project
  • questions by Valeriy from the Noun Project
  • Cars by Gregor Cresnar from the Noun Project
  • houses by abdul karim from the Noun Project