NEW YORK: New York has become the first city in the world to adopt a climate plan specifically aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement, after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the new initiative on Tuesday.
The plan - 1.5°C: Aligning New York City With the Paris Climate Agreement – details the actions the City will take over the next three years to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve deep decarbonization.
Launched in coordination with the Mayor's Office of Sustainability (MOS) and City agencies, the plan is aimed at supporting the ambitious Paris Agreement target of limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The announcement comes just days after Climate Week NYC 2017 which was hosted by The Climate Group in New York City from September 18-24 to showcase the unstoppable force for action on climate change. The City was an official partner of the summit with First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris delivering a welcome keynote address at the Opening Ceremony, reinforcing the City’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.
Amy Davidsen, Executive Director North America, The Climate Group, said: "The City of New York is a long-term leader on ambitious climate action and has been at the forefront of innovation for renewable energy, electric vehicles, emissions reduction and green buildings for a number of years.
"Mayor de Blasio's announcement of this bold new climate plan is further evidence that cities and states across America are doubling down on their commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement. It demonstrates the unstoppable force for action on climate change that we saw so clearly at Climate Week NYC in September and is another reason to be optimistic about the challenge of creating a cleaner, more prosperous future for all."
GLOBAL CLIMATE LEADERSHIP ROLE
The plan is a further example of New York City’s well established global leadership role on climate action, with the city already a member of the Under2 Coalition of sub-national governments committed to reducing their GHG emissions towards net-zero by 2050. It also demonstrates the ongoing commitment to the Paris Agreement from US states, cities and businesses in the wake of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the accord.
Mayor de Blasio, said: “Big problems require big solutions - and New Yorkers are already hard at work to meet the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. In the Trump era, cities have to lead the way when it comes to fighting climate change. Hotter summers and powerful storms made worse by climate change are an existential threat to a coastal city like ours, which is why we need to act now.'
The actions set out in the plan have the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 10 million metric tons of C02e - roughly the equivalent of removing more than 2 million cars from the road by 2030.
The new plan is designed to be far more aggressive with emissions reductions compared to the City's previous plan - 80 x 50 – which aimed at reducing GHG emissions 80% by 2050.
Clean energy deployment is a key element of the plan and the city will use its purchasing power to procure 100% renewable electricity for municipal operations when sufficient supply can be brought online. The City is also due to complete 50 new solar projects on public buildings before the end of 2017, bringing the city a quarter of the way to its target of 100 megawatts (MW) of solar on public property by 2025.
Transport is also a key focus with the implementation of the Select Bus Service being accelerated, while new tax reforms are designed to help finance the modernization of the subway system. The City is also aiming to double the number of active cyclists by 2020 and also has a target for 20% of new car registrations to be electric vehicle (EV) by 2025.
The plan also lists key actions in the building sector; the City is planning to introduce advanced energy codes for new buildings in 2019, with very low energy design targets being introduced for all new buildings in subsequent energy code cycles.