NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio announced today that New York City is committing to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over 2005 levels by 2050, starting with One City, Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future – a sweeping plan to retrofit public and private buildings to dramatically reduce the city’s contributions to climate change, while spurring major cost savings and creating thousands of new jobs for New Yorkers who most need them. This makes New York the largest city to commit to the 80 percent reduction by 2050, and charts a long-term path for investment in renewable sources of energy and a total transition from fossil fuels.

Nearly three quarters of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy used to heat, cool, and power buildings, making building retrofits a central component of any plan to dramatically reduce emissions.

The City is poised to make direct investments to increase the efficiency of its public buildings, including schools and public housing, reducing the government’s contribution to climate change and generating operational savings for New York City taxpayers. Every single city-owned building with any significant energy use – approximately 3,000 buildings – will be retrofitted within the next ten years, by 2025, with interim goals along the way.

The City will also spur private building owners to invest in efficiency upgrades, setting ambitious interim targets and incentives to catalyze voluntary reductions, and implementing mandates that trigger if interim reduction targets are not met – leading to retrofits in tens of thousands of private-owned buildings. High energy costs take a disproportionate toll on lower-income residents who typically live in less-efficient buildings and must pay a higher share of their income for energy. The City’s plan aims to protect New Yorkers from rising utility bills while reducing emissions and poor air quality and stimulating demand for retrofitting and renewable energy jobs

This plan is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 3.4 million metric tons a year by 2025 – an additional 10 percent reduction in building-based greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking 715,000 vehicles off of the road. This will 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. It’s anticipated that approximately 3,500 new jobs in construction and energy services will be created, in addition to the training of more than 7,000 building staff to upgrade their skills…

Link to Full Story