12/15/2009 06:58 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sharing LA's Green Programs with the World

Earlier today, I stood with more than 80 mayors from around the world to open the Mayors Climate Conference in Copenhagen. It continues to amaze me how profound the contribution of cities is in reducing co2 emissions worldwide. Emissions from cities make up more than 75 percent of the world's carbon footprint. Think about if every big city in the world took simple steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

In LA, we have the LED Street light retrofit program, which is the largest in the world. It is not a complicated plan - we are simply replacing 140,000 streetlights with LED lights. If all cities adopted a similar program, we could reduce more than 40million tons of carbon. I was happy to share the details of this program with my fellow mayors and hope they will follow our lead.

Later in the afternoon, I chaired a discussion on energy efficiency with the mayors of Rome, Istanbul, Riga, and Taipei. It was an enlightening conversation where we shared ideas, accomplishments and best practices. I talked about the results of our aggressive green building standards, the investments we are making on energy efficiency rebates for LA customers, and our energy conservation incentives.

At the end of the discussion, it was clear that each of our cities has been doing great work, but we all still have more to do. But I am convinced that in terms of scale and scope of work, LA has a golden opportunity to create meaningful sustainable jobs because of the ability of our program(s) to create good clean/green jobs in LA.