NYC Delivers First-Ever City Plan to Meet the Goals of the Paris Climate Agreement

Just four short months after President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, and the signing of Executive Order 26, Mayor De Blasio released today 1.5°C: Aligning New York City with the Paris Climate Agreement, which outlines the City’s rapid plan to limit greenhouse gases over the next four years.

Following Executive Order 26, which was released the day after Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement, Mayor De Blasio is now marking New York City as a global leader in climate change initiative by expediting the “80 x 50” plan of 2014 and implementing a new plan to adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement. This plan is significant in that it is the first of its kind, but many others are expected to follow, especially in light of a report by C40 Cities and Arup laying out how cities can get the job done on climate.

The new plan focuses on recycling, waste diversion and management, building design and retrofitting, renewable energy, transportation, and carbon neutrality. It doubles down on some of the city’s more ambitious goals such as doubling the number of New Yorkers commuting by bicycle, mandates on building efficiency, single stream recycling by 2020, and 100% renewable energy consumption.

In a statement made in regard to the new plan, De Blasio said “When our national government falls down, local governments have to step up. I am proud that New York City will play its part and that we are joining in common cause with hundreds of local governments around this nation and the world.”

Though virtually everyone agrees that the plan has laudable policy goals, some have highlighted the lack of policy details on how we get there. In particular, building mandates will prove complicated to implement given concerns about how to protect tenants in affordable housing from bearing an undue portion of the cost and also pushback on the Mayor’s approach from the City Council. Nevertheless, we are pleased with the de Blasio Administration’s urgency on these issues and look forward to working together with them to make these ideas a reality.