New York City to cut GHGs by 30%

New York, USA (GLOBE-Net) – New York has become the latest major city to confront climate change, releasing an inventory of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in support of a goal to reduce them by 30 percent by 2030.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg repeated the pledge he made in December 2006 while releasing the first comprehensive inventory of the city’s GHG releases (PDF). He also announced that New York will host mayors from cities around the world at a Large Cities Climate Summit in May.

The inventory was completed as part of a climate protection campaign spearheaded by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), an international association of local governments and organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development. New York is one of 750 cities participating internationally, including 240 U.S. cities.

The analysis shows that New York’s emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) were approximately 58 million metric tons in 2005, with 79 percent coming from buildings. New York’s carbon emissions were approximately 1 percent of 2005 U.S. totals, and have increased by approximately 8 percent in the last ten years. If this trend continues, emissions will rise to approximately 25 percent above 2005 levels by 2030.

However, New York’s widely used public transit system and high urban density mean that on a per capita basis, its citizens emit less than one third the U.S. national average of GHGs.

City government CO2e emissions were 3.8 million metric tons in 2006, of which 64 percent came from City owned buildings. City government emissions increased by 15 percent from 1995 to 2001 and have since remained stable.

Past policies include an agreement between the City and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) that provides financing for energy efficiency projects in City buildings; the use of alternative fuel vehicles in the City’s fleet; landfill methane recovery; and the conversion of traffic signals to LEDs.

Planned actions include switching from truck to barge and rail for the hauling of solid waste; a new green buildings law; an procurement policy for energy efficient products; and increased street tree planting.

The inventory will now serve as the benchmark for reducing GHG emissions by 30 percent between now and 2030. Specific plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to targeted levels will be detailed later this month. In a scheduled upcoming speech, Bloomberg will outline strategies to help the city cut GHG emissions even as it grows by an expected 1 million residents by 2030.

Cities climate summit

New York will host the ‘C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in May’, bringing mayors and delegations from large cities around the world to discuss the role of cities in combating climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Summit (taking place May 14-17, 2007), is supported by the Clinton Climate Initiative and the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, a group of cities founded following the World Cities Leadership Climate Change Summit organised by the Mayor of London in October 2005. Attendees will include mayors from the world’s largest cities, including London, Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Moscow, Toronto and Istanbul.

Private sector companies sponsoring the event and attending will include: JP Morgan Chase & Co., Alcoa, Deutsche Bank, the Hearst Corporation, the Shell Oil Company, Siemens, Time Warner, BSKYB, Citigroup, Con Edison, Federated Department Stores, General Electric, Keyspan, KPMG LLP, Swiss Re, and Tishman Speyer.

For more information about the Large Cities Climate Summit, see

many cities around the world are establishing climate plans. Urban areas are responsible for a large proportion of GHG emissions and are home to many opportunities to increase efficiency and to reduce pollution.

The City of London recently released a plan to cut the English capital’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half by 2025.

  • See: London launches climate change plan

  • The City of Toronto has released the framework of a plan, with a commitment to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Toronto urban area to six percent below 1990 levels by 2012, similar to Canada’s national goal under the Kyoto Protocol. Under the framework, Toronto will further cut emissions by 30 percent by 2020, and by 80 percent before 2050, also based on 1990 levels.

    The cuts are aligned with recently announced European Union goals. Montreal’s sustainable development plan includes measures to reduce emissions by 20%, by 2012, compared to 2002. Vancouver and other Canadian cities have climate change and environmental programs in place, but most do not have firm targets.

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