Michael Bloomberg had yet another nice announcement for New Yorkers as he left office this week – citywide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have dropped a whopping 19 percent since 2005. Major changes in city operations, such as the implementation of cleaner technologies, reducing the amount of heavy heating oils used in buildings, and increasing energy efficiency in buildings led the way towards this impressive achievement. As a result, New York City’s air is now cleaner and safer than it has been in 50 years, and the city is ahead of schedule on meeting its 2030 emissions goals.
According to Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability Director Sergej Mahnovski, the drastic reductions GHG emissions reductions achieved over the last eight years mean New York is already two-thirds of the way toward achieving the 30 percent reduction in citywide emissions by 2030 set out in PlaNYC, the city’s comprehensive sustainability blueprint.
In celebration, city officials announced new programs that will continue to make New York safer for its residents and help slow climate change.
“PlaNYC continues to set the precedent for what cities can do to improve the quality of life for their residents. The City has taken bold steps to reduce air pollution to the lowest level in 50 years, modernize our energy infrastructure with cleaner and more resilient systems, and to scale up the market for renewables, energy efficiency, and waste management with groundbreaking public private partnerships, ” said Mahnovski “The key message is that local governments can work together with utilities, regulators, environmental partners, developers, and communities to test bed new concepts and sharply reduce emissions with state-of-the art analytics, financial products, and technical resources.
Part of the program’s huge success has been making it possible for local families and business owners to embrace energy-efficient upgrades in their homes and offices. The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC), launched by the city in 2010, is the first public-private financing entity dedicated solely to energy efficiency and clean energy financing, and has deployed $50 million in energy efficiency and clean energy financing products. Through mortgage lending, direct loans, and credit enhancements, this program provides the easily-accessible financing needed to catalyze an energy efficiency retrofit market.
According to a press release, “projects financed by NYCEEC are already under construction in 34 buildings and dozens more will begin soon. Current projects are projected to result in 25,000 metric tons of carbon reductions—the equivalent of removing 5,000 passenger vehicles from the road.”