Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that New York City plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% over 2005 levels by 2050. The plan—called One City, Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future—includes the intention to retrofit public and private buildings to dramatically reduce the city’s contributions to climate change while spurring cost savings and creating new jobs.
This effort makes New York the largest city to commit to the 80% 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, according to the Mayor’s office.
Every 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 also will spur private building owners to invest in efficiency upgrades, setting interim targets and incentives and implementing mandates that trigger if interim reduction targets are not met.