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City unveils 3-year action plan to meet Paris Climate Agreement goals

“In the Trump era, cities have to lead the way when it comes to fighting climate change,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
New York City
New York City is suing five big oil companies, the mayor announced on Wednesday. Photo: iStock

Over the next three years, New York City will be committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement — regardless of the Trump administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

The action plan, detailed in “1.5°C: Aligning New York City With the Paris Climate Agreement,” includes accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas and implementing deep de-carbonization.

“Big problems require big solutions — and New Yorkers are already hard at work to meet the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement,” de Blasio said.

The city’s action plan appears to be the first-ever initiative by any global city aiming to be compliant with the 2016 Paris accord, which intends to limit temperature increases, lower greenhouse gas emissions development and more.

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In June, President Donald Trump announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the Obama-era agreement, a maneuver that would not go into effect until November 2020 if he does follow through with the plan.

“In the Trump era, cities have to lead the way when it comes to fighting climate change,” de Blasio said. “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.”

Among the city’s action plan is:

• Implementing single-stream recycling city-wide by 2020, which means residents will not need to sort recyclables from regular trash. It would “dramatically” increase the city’s recycling rate, the report said.

• Fast-track dividing tons of organics from landfills with the expansion of the organics program with curbside or drop-off locations by next year.

• Install advanced energy codes for new buildings in 2019 to bookend the fossil-fuel targets for existing buildings to meet by 2030.

• With the city breaking ground on 50 solar projects on public buildings this fall, the city will be on track to reach its goal of 100MW of solar on public property by 2025.

• Continuing to accelerate the MTA’s Select Bus Service, doubling the number of bicyclists by 2020 with more bike lanes added yearly and trying to get the mayor’s proposed “millionaire’s tax” approved to fund subway system modernization.

• New York City will head a global protocol for cities to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. 

“In the face of federal inaction on climate change, it is now more important than ever for cities like New York to step up to fulfill the Paris Agreement,” Daniel Zarrilli, senior director for Climate Policy & Programs and the chief resilience officer in the mayor’s office. “This new plan accelerates New York City’s deep de-carbonization efforts locally in order to align with the global effort to limit warming to only 1.5°C as outlined in the Paris Agreement, and is the first such city plan in the world to do so.”

 
 
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