New York City Unveils Plan to Carry Out Paris Climate Agreement

On October 3, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a city plan to align New York City with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.  The 1.5°C Climate Action Plan proposes aggressive action across various sectors, including:

  • Recycling and Waste: The plan proposes a city-wide rollout of single-stream recycling by 2020, as well as an expansion of the city’s organics program by 2018 in order to increase organics separation and reduce the volume of organics in the waste stream.
  • Building Codes:  The plan also calls for implementation of long-term energy intensity requirements for existing buildings by 2030, and the tightening of energy intensity requirements for new buildings.
  • Energy Procurement:  The plan commits to purchasing 100% renewable electricity for municipal operations as soon as sufficient supply can be brought online.
  • Transportation:  The plan aims to increase the number of active cyclists in the city, expanding electric vehicle infrastructure, and other improvements to increase transportation sustainability.

While the plan is the first of its kind, it is unlikely to be the last.  In June, shortly after President Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Paris Agreement, more than 380 mayors of cities nationwide committed to honor the Agreement.

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