To My Fellow New Yorkers:
Global climate change is the challenge of our generation. New Yorkers are facing the risks of rising sea levels, increased temperatures and heat waves, and increasing frequency of intense storms. The damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 provided tragic evidence of these risks. Almost two years later, we are still recovering. Globally, rising sea levels will flood coastlines, droughts will disrupt livelihoods, and storms and other extreme weather will threaten lives and economic development. We are faced with an existential threat, and inaction is not an option.
New Yorkers will rise to the challenge. We will build on progress we have made to become more resilient to a changing climate and to mitigate the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. We are committing to reduce our emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, making us the largest city in the world to commit to this goal.
In New York City, our buildings are responsible for the overwhelming share of our emissions. The energy we use in our homes, schools, workplaces, stores, and public facilities accounts for nearly three-quarters of our contribution to climate change. But we can upgrade our buildings to make them more energy efficient and reduce these emissions. With this work, we can make our homes more affordable, improve the quality of our air, and create a thriving market for energy efficiency and renewable energy–with new jobs and new businesses.
With this ten-year plan, we are committing to achieve the emissions reductions needed from our buildings to put us on the path to meet our ambitious climate goal.
Realizing this vision will not be easy. The change will come building by building, block by block, and neighborhood by neighborhood. It will require new technologies and innovative thinking. But New Yorkers are the world’s most skilled architects, engineers, real estate developers, academics, construction workers, and building operators. The solutions we develop together will change our city, and they can change cities across the world.
Our work begins today, and working together, we can truly become One City: Built to Last.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio