The Climate Mobilization Act, which brings together half a dozen bills, takes an aggressive stance to cut carbon emissions from America's most populous city. These 8.6 million people issued 4.5 million metric tons of carbon in 2016; in most countries around the world, reducing this figure would likely reduce emissions from cars and trucks. And this Green New Agreement (York) includes more work on converting the city's bus school into electricity, on rotating wind turbines and replacing 21 gas-fired power plants in the city . But New York, New York is a wonderful city. People get into a hole in the ground. In other words, the use of public transportation is widespread. Well, when it works.
The fact is that 70% of New York City's emissions come from the heating and cooling of millions of buildings – and one-third of that comes from just 50,000 buildings of 25,000 square feet or more. Blame the skyscrapers. Trump Tower is apparently a representative of the 2% of emitters very, very bad, for what it is worth. So one of the new bills tells the owners of these large buildings that they must reduce their emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. That's a lot. "We have to be careful.Water speaks to us.In the last century, the port of New York was up a foot," said John Mandyck, CEO of the Urban Green Council, which helped to the drafting of the invoice. "There is no doubt that it sets strict carbon limits – it will not be easy – it reflects the fact that climate change is a difficult problem."
As for the way these buildings go there, their owners have some paths. They can buy green energy, which is really more promising than realistic at this stage; 70% of New York City's electricity comes from carbon-emitting fossil fuels. But ideally, this option will encourage the marketing of wind turbines and hydroelectricity. In fact, another omnibus bill aims to pave the way for green roofs with solar panels. In addition, the building can work with the city to identify the types of improvements that would reduce emissions: new boilers, better insulation, new windows, new types of investment that would translate into thousands of jobs in the energy sector. construction and building. in the city Hey, these boilers are not going to install, knowwutImean?
And in an approach on Kim Stanley Robinson & # 39; s post-climate novel-flood New York 2140 (or maybe the Crimson Permanent Insurance) individual buildings could exchange carbon credits. "It's a decisive policy tool – it's never been done at this scale at the city level," Mandyck said. "It's a flexible tool, especially for building owners who own wallets." Thus, these people could exchange credits between their own buildings, or form alliances and separatist archipelagos of unscrupulous carbon trade routes.
Passing a package like this takes years of coordination and negotiation; Part of this political work goes back to the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Costa Constantinides, a member of the council responsible for legislation, has been working on the issue for a decade and the first bill requiring similar improvements was introduced in 2017. "New Yorkers now understand the realities of climate change. That's why we spent it, "said Constantindes, chairman of the city council's environmental protection committee." Once adopted, it will be the largest reduction in carbon emissions imposed by a city, no matter where … it will be the first step to rethink the way we feed and function as a city. "
So, what was finally done? thanks to scientific and government reports hit the drum, and superstorms By temporarily placing New York under water, more and more people understand that climate change is an existential threat, especially in coastal cities. But that does not mean that all New Yorkers are excited about limiting the carbon emissions of skyscrapers. Take, for example, the Real Estate Board of New York, which represents the owners of these skyscrapers who will have to pay for all these improvements. "A bill supposed to be the most ambitious bill ever adopted by a city in terms of reducing CO2 emissions actually excludes more than 50% of the built environment of New York State. ", recently wrote John Banks, president of REBNY. blog article. Residential buildings with rent control are exempt, as are hospitals and places of worship, and Banks' organization insists that the long list of outs associated with strict limits will deter owners of rent to energy-hungry users, but economically useful. The bill, Banks writes, is "a repudiation of public policy aimed at promoting employment growth and housing production in order to meet the growing population of New York City."
REBNY supported an earlier, slow-slope approach, based on an Energy Star rating of the building, a measure of energy efficiency. But this happened through the window, perhaps because of left-to-left political pressure, thanks to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the US Congressman representing the Borough of Queens. Now, I could write this in two different ways, and both would be right. One of them is that in pleading for a Green New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez has shed a necessary and energy-saving light on an emerging issue that threatens New York and the world. Another reason is that the popularity of Ocasio-Cortez puts pressure on elected officials whose districts overlap. If people voted for it, they would vote against someone whose platform included the emission of more carbon. Which version is the right one? Eh. Kiss the "and."
The problem is that at a time when the countries of the world's superpower do not seem to be interested in reducing greenhouse gas emissions – despite popular support for such changes – the political weight falls on smaller political entities . It means regions, states and cities. And what works in New York, if it works, could also work in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. All it takes is the will.
More great cable stories