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Matt Petersen
Matt Petersen currently serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles. He was appointed to the position by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

As L.A.'s first CSO, Petersen is the chief architect of the Sustainable City pLAn which is a roadmap for a L.A. that is environmentally healthy, economically prosperous, and equitable in opportunity for all. Working with his colleagues in the Mayor's office, City departmental heads, and the 27 Departmental CSOs, Petersen is responsible for the implementation of the pLAn's outcomes and targets set for 2017, 2025, and 2035.

Prior to becoming CSO, Petersen served as Global Green USA President, CEO and board member where he led the organization for 19 years. In the aftermath of the Gulf Coast hurricanes, Petersen put forth a vision and mobilized resources to green the rebuilding of New Orleans' schools, Lower 9th Ward, and more.

Petersen is a board member of Global Green USA, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, and the Sir Edmund Hilary Institute for International Leadership. Petersen is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Entries by Matt Petersen

How LA Is Capturing Stormwater and Using Data to Increase Local Water Supply

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2016 | 9:41 PM

On March 22, Los Angeles brought its commitment and expertise on water to the White House, where President Obama hosted the first ever White House Water Summit, in conjunction with United Nations World Water Day.

Angelenos, as much as anyone, recognize the importance of water to our...

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From the Front Lines in the Fight Against Climate Change

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 3:43 PM


I've just returned to L.A. after having the honor of representing Mayor Eric Garcetti at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in Johannesburg, South Africa. Cities are increasingly on the front lines in the fight against climate change...

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Bringing Solar for Sandy to NY and New Jersey

(3) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 9:08 AM

We have known for some time the growing threat that sea level rise and storm surge poses to our low lying coastal communities, including our energy infrastructure. Hurricane Sandy showed just how vulnerable New York and New Jersey are to the growing threat of climate change.

And as a result,...

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Seeking Citizen Sandy: Call for Ideas for Green Rebuilding of Devastated Communities

(13) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 1:38 PM

It is inspiring and heartening to see so many citizens -- whether from nearby neighborhoods or across the country -- pitching in with relief efforts in New York and New Jersey following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

The drive to help those in need of shelter, clothing, and food continues,...

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Sea Level Rise, It's Real and No Joke (VIDEO)

(191) Comments | Posted September 1, 2012 | 1:02 PM

Guess it needs to be said: rising seas due to global warming is real, and no damn joke. And, we can do something about it, while creating a greener, cleaner economy.

In fact, one of the best ways to help our families in the United States, and around the world...

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Bringing Light, Giving Power, Sharing Hope at the City of Joy

(2) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 9:41 AM

Driving to the City of Joy -- located in Bukavu in the conflict-torn eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo -- is intense.

Dusty dirt roads, throngs of people, motorcycles buzzing about, and utterly unpredictable traffic.

The route to the City of Joy is called Essence Road. Eve Ensler,...

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I'm Stuck in a Bad Relationship, Part 2

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2012 | 5:41 PM

Last month, I wrote about how we are stuck in a bad relationship with planet Earth.

A good relationship is built on respect.

A good relationship demands that you listen to your partner.

But we, as a society, have not been listening to planet Earth and the signals...

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I'm Stuck in a Bad Relationship, Part 1

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 10:45 AM

I'm stuck in a bad relationship.

I think you're stuck in a bad relationship too.

In fact, I think we're all stuck in a bad relationship.

And I'll tell you why. Starting with a little story.

Two planets walk into a bar.

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Ready for Rio: Earth Summit Call for Action

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2011 | 8:39 PM

Global Green USA will join presidents, prime ministers, other world leaders ­and thousands of citizens and activists from Brazil, the U.S., and around the globe in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (a.k.a. Earth Summit) next June.

I will be leading a Global...

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Green Occupation of Wall Street

(18) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 9:40 PM

If you haven't read yet, maybe you're living under a rock. Thousands of citizens have taken to the streets in NYC -- and now across the country in dozens of other cities -- for Occupy Wall Street protests.

Beginning as a protest against corporate greed and the actions of banks...

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Take the I AM Challenge to Fight Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

(6) Comments | Posted September 21, 2011 | 5:26 PM

Take the I AM Challenge, and Take Responsibility for a Green Corner of the World

Among other challenges, global warming is causing our sea levels to rise and putting our coastal cities -- and billions of people -- at risk across the globe.

We know first-hand about...

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Blessed Bounty: Reflections on the Sustainable Design Competition

(0) Comments | Posted August 31, 2011 | 2:50 PM

It was mid-July 2006, and I vividly remember walking through the first day of our design jury for the Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans -- and just being overwhelmed with joy at all the incredible ideas and work represented. We had a tremendous response, thanks in great part to...

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Introductions: Irene, Meet Katrina; Katrina, Meet Irene

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 1:14 PM

Our hearts are with those who have lost loved ones and are left with damaged homes, businesses and communities in the days that Hurricane Irene moved up the East Coast.

There was a collective sigh of relief when Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time...

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Remembering Ray Anderson: A Tribute to a True Green Giant

(9) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 9:27 AM

Yesterday we lost a true giant, a green pioneer, dear friend, and mentor to so many: Ray Anderson.

I first met Ray in 1995, when he gave a speech at a greening of Habitat for Humanity event Global Green organized in Atlanta. Bill Browning, a good friend and colleague who...

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April: Auspicious and Alarming Anniversaries

(5) Comments | Posted April 2, 2011 | 6:51 PM

As April is upon us, we have a few important dates that really define the challenges we face as humanity and the future health of planet Earth. Yes, on April 22, we will 'celebrate' the 41st anniversary of the first Earth Day, but we will also mark some...

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Arriving in the Congo to Celebrate the #CityofJoy

(3) Comments | Posted February 4, 2011 | 11:39 AM

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo, February 3 -- I just arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo via an amazing -- albeit a little bumpy -- drive through Rwanda, after arriving in Bujumbura, Burundi yesterday. I am here with Eve Ensler and other supporters of V-Day to join in...

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Rebuilding the Future

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2010 | 1:21 PM

Yesterday was the 10:10:10 global work day, an amazing show of action to combat global warming, and improve lives around the globe.

Sadly, yesterday also marked 30 days since a terrible tragedy rocked San Bruno. A natural gas line ruptured and exploded, causing a horrific...

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On Eve of 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Green Renaissance Takes Hold in New Orleans

(4) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 11:21 AM

NEW ORLEANS - As New Orleans, the nation and the world prepare to mark the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29 (and the devastating aftermath), I have been reflecting on the personal journey I have taken these past five years in my love affair with this great city.

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Passing of a True Giant -- Leading Climate Expert Steve Schneider Passes Away

(4) Comments | Posted July 19, 2010 | 6:20 PM

Those of us who knew Steve Schneider thought he was invincible. He had beaten back a rare form of cancer, and wrote a book about it, The Patient from Hell.

When I got the news of his passing this morning due to a heart attack, I was shocked, and deeply...

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Declaring Energy Independence -- Citizens of New Orleans and Gulf Coast Respond to BP Oil Spill

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2010 | 5:55 PM

While fireworks, fun, and family punctuate our annual 4th of July celebrations, it is sometimes easy to forget that the 4th of July commemorates America's declaration of independence. Our nation's founders signed the Declaration of Independence to escape the tyranny of Britain and establish our citizens' inalienable right: life, liberty...

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