NYC Mayor de Blasio Unveils Plan to Dramatically Cut GHG Emissions, Curb Climate Change
Energy Efficiency Upgrades to Public Buildings Will Save Money, Create Jobs
As the historic People’s Climate March swept through New York City on September 21, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled an ambitious plan – One City Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future – to slash the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.
The GHG reductions, along with billions in energy cost savings and creation of thousands of new jobs, will be achieved by making energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to thousands of public buildings.
The mayor’s office said these reductions will “dramatically reduce the city’s contributions to climate change”; generate savings for New York taxpayers by lowering the cost of heating, cooling and powering public buildings; and create “thousands of new jobs for New Yorkers who most need them.”
The city will also encourage private building owners to invest in energy-saving upgrades by providing incentives for voluntary emission reductions – and imposing mandates if interim reduction targets are not met. The city noted the disproportionate toll of high energy costs on lower-income residents, “who typically live in less-efficient buildings and must pay a higher share of their income for energy.”
Total Transition from Fossil Fuels
The mayor’s office said the new campaign “charts a long-term path for investment in renewable sources of energy and a total transition from fossil fuels.”
By 2025, the plan will:
- Cut GHG emissions by an additional 3.4 million metric tons a year – equivalent to taking 715,000 vehicles off the road;
- Reduce public- and private-sector energy costs more than $1.4 billion a year, for cumulative savings of $8.5 billion;
- Create some 3,500 new construction and energy service jobs, as well as upgrade the skills of more than 7,000 building staff.
To reach those goals, the city has pledged to make energy efficiency retrofits to all city-owned buildings with any significant energy use – approximately 3,000 buildings – by 2025, setting interim goals along the way. The affected public buildings include schools, public housing, firehouses, hospitals, police precincts, libraries and homeless shelters.