Mayor Bill de Blasio announced progress yesterday on several green building programs that are moving the city closer to its ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Some 3,800 buildings are included in the plan, which focuses largely on retrofits for greater energy efficiency. In addition to the environmental benefits, the green buildings programs will create nearly 1,000 jobs in the city by 2025.
The cumulative effects of four of the city’s building retrofit programs–which include the NYC Retrofit Accelerator, Community Retrofit NYC, the Green Housing Preservation Program, and the NYC Carbon Challenge–will lower the city’s GHG emissions by nearly 1.5 million metric tons by 2025, on its way to an 80 percent reduction by 2050 (80×50) over 2005 figures. “The cumulative effect of our green buildings policies proves not only that New York City is on track to achieve our ambitious 80×50 goals,” said de Blasio.
More than 3,800 buildings are included in these programs, making up over eight percent of the built square footage across the city. Together, two programs–NYC Retrofit Accelerator and Community Retrofit NYC–have in the past year helped over 1,000 buildings improve energy and water efficiency, reducing GHG emissions by 75,000 metric tons. The Green Housing Preservation Program funnels city-provided funds to individual building owners, the boards of low-income co-ops, and non-profit developers to retrofit energy and water in their buildings in order to save up to 40 percent in annual utility costs, thus preserving as many as 100 affordable apartments for years to come. The NYC Carbon Challenge, a voluntary leadership program for the private and institutional sectors, has helped its participants lower emissions by 19 percent, and 10 participating buildings have already achieved their goals, including Google, BlackRock, and Goldman Sachs.
With this much progress in just the past year, the mayor says New York is on track to become “the most sustainable big city in the world.”