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NYC to Slash GHGs 80% by 2050

New YorkNew York City mayor Bill de Blasio has made a pledge to decrease the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels.

The pledge will be formally announced before the start of the UN Climate Summit today.

On Sunday, the mayor announced an initiative to support the pledge, which would involve making the city’s buildings more energy efficient and encourage private landlords to do the same.

If the initiative is implemented, New York would become the largest city in the world to make a commitment of this type.

As part of the mayor’s plan, about 3,000 city-owned buildings, including schools, shelters, firehouses and hospitals would be retrofitted to be more energy-efficient by 2025, with interim goals before then. The measures would cost $1 billion over 10 years.

The plan would also encourage private building owners to invest in efficiency upgrades, setting ambitious interim targets and incentives to make voluntary reductions, and implementing mandates if interim reduction targets are not met.

The plan is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 million metric tons a year by 2025. This would also generate cost-savings across the public and private sectors of more than $1.4 billion a year by 2025, leading to $8.5 billion in cumulative energy cost-savings over ten years.

Possible upgrades would range from changes like lighting or boiler improvements to solar-power installations and the introduction of an air conditioner exchange program in public housing, where units tend to be older and less efficient.

The plan announcement came on the same day as a Climate March held in Manhattan, which drew an estimated 400,000 participants.

At the beginning of the year, New York City announced it had already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions 19 percent since 2005.

In August, the city announced it will expand a pilot program that diverts food from the waste stream and converts it into natural gas. The city expects the program to avoid about 90,000 metric tons of CO2.

Photo Credit: New York via Shutterstock

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