Los Angeles Sustainability


Institute faculty address climate change, environmental injustice, water insecurity, and sustainability and public health issues in the L.A. region.

Home to more than 10 million residents and the country’s most productive economy by county, the Los Angeles region faces a variety of significant challenges to achieve long-term sustainability. Emmett Institute faculty are focused on addressing climate change, environmental injustice, water insecurity, and other important sustainability and public health issues in Los Angeles.

Emmett Institute faculty have published research on a range of local sustainability issues, including air pollution, access to drinking water, housing production, and more. Since Los Angeles city and county leaders began comprehensive sustainability planning, Emmett Institute faculty have frequently provided recommendations to local policymakers. In 2019, Emmett Institute faculty were part of a UCLA team that helped create Los Angeles County’s first sustainability plan.

Students and faculty partner with Los Angeles area advocates via the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, which for more than 25 years has provided students opportunities for training in environmental lawyering on behalf of local communities. Students work with clients on matters involving the impacts of oil and gas drilling, air pollution, water quality, plastic waste, and more.

The Emmett Institute supports students seeking experience working on Los Angeles area sustainability issues through externship scholarships and post-graduate fellowships with local nonprofits and advocacy organizations.

The Emmett Institute is closely tied to UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a cross-campus research initiative focused on Los Angeles sustainability. Our co-executive director Cara Horowitz serving on the initiative’s steering committee and Emmett Institute faculty have received research grants for studies on .

Emmett Institute faculty also contribute to public dialogue on Southern California environmental issues with frequent commentary on the Legal Planet blog and in local news sources like the Los Angeles Times, KPCC, KCRW, and others.

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