Good news is in store for New York City. According to Mayor Bloomberg, the city has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an 12% since 2005, putting it well on track to hit the PlaNYC goal of reducing emissions and impressive 30% by 2017. In the last year alone, emissions have been lowered nearly 5%.
In his announcement on Tuesday, the mayor pointed out several efforts that have led to the reductions including: passing a green buildings law, planting nearly 500,000 new trees, and installing 250,000 low-watt street and traffic lights. MillionTreesNYC has a goal of planting one million new trees, and the new lights use 25% less power.
NYC has also improved the capture of methane at city wastewater treatment plants, cutting methane emissions by 15%. As a greenhouse gas, methane is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
There is ongoing work throughout the city to make use of rooftops and old landfills as new sources for renewable energy production.
It’s good to see a city the size of New York taking significant action to lower emissions. Perhaps a major solution to climate change lies in the ability of cities around the world to take action like this. While many countries continue to drag their feet on climate change action, but some cities seem to be getting on with the job.
Image CC licensed by Doug Kerr: Central Park, New York City