Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a major overhaul of New York City’s energy-efficiency standards this week right on the heels of the world’s largest climate march this past weekend. The plan focuses most of its initiatives on NYC buildings (both public and private) since they account for the bulk of the city’s energy expenditure. The announcement is part of the mayor’s ballsy pledge to reduce NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.



Bill de Blasio

Although the commitment to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions would make New York City the largest city in the world to make such a commitment, some resistance from private landlords is to be expected due to questions over costs. However, it seems as though the mayor is determined to be a pioneer politician in terms of green initiatives and climate change action, especially considering the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“Global warming was much more of an abstraction to New York City until two years ago,” Mr. de Blasio said in an interview on Friday. “There’s a moral imperative to act.”

Related: Mayor de Blasio Announces Biggest Update to NYC’s Air Pollution Control Code Since 1975

Of course, such an ambitious plan does come at a cost to the city. The budget for the programs would be an estimated $1 billion dollars aimed at enhancing city-owned buildings over the next decade. Most of the plan focuses on older buildings, both public and private, whcih would see a number of upgrades such as lighting or boiler improvements, solar-power installations and implementation of an “air conditioner exchange program” in public housing to replace older AC units with newer, more efficient models.

It’s estimated that the upgrades, as basic as they may seem, would result in an additional 10% reduction of building-based greenhouse gases by 2025, roughly the equivalent of removing 700,000 cars from the city streets. Equally appealing is the calculation that the initiatives would save the city an estimated $1.4 billion per year.

Via New York Times