This year, Los Angeles will officially start banning natural gas in newly constructed buildings, LAist reports. The move means that California’s largest city will now join 70 other towns and counties statewide where similar bans are already in place.
In December, the L.A. city council met to discuss a motion concerning the installation of stoves, heating, and other gas-powered hookups. The council, citing both health and climate concerns, voted unanimously to ban gas in all new buildings starting this January — with only a few exceptions, such as for emergency power.
The motion, first introduced in May, is explicit about the reasoning for the council’s decision, explaining that buildings in Los Angeles currently account for 43% of the city’s planet-warming emissions.
“Transitioning new construction away from fossil fuels will secure public health benefits and economic savings for decades to come, as well as ensure the City meets its Green New Deal zero-carbon buildings goals,” the ordinance states, in part.
Natural gas is known to cause several health risks in humans, including an increased likelihood of childhood asthma and cancer. Reducing natural gas use is healthy for L.A. residents and would help with the city’s notorious smog problem.
It’s also better for the climate. By lowering the amount of heat-trapping gases from burning fuel, the city council hopes to do its part to offset rising temperatures worldwide. As more governments adopt similar policies, humanity will have an easier time slowing our planet’s changing temperatures.
While this measure marks a huge improvement, L.A.’s city council doesn’t plan to stop there. The LAist reports a broader ordinance is in the works for this year — one that will start addressing the use of gas in existing buildings. Older homes and businesses may soon be required to convert to electrical power, further improving the city’s air.
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