Here are a few plans and documents released in recent years related to New York City and New York State’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
(1) 2016: Deadline 2020: How Cities Will Get The Job Done
From the executive summary:
A routemap to turn the aspirations of the Paris Agreement into reality
The Paris Agreement commits signatories to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.” So what does limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees really mean? While nations consider their options, this report, Deadline 2020, presents a detailed pathway of what C40 cities’ need to do to play their part in converting the COP21 Paris Agreement from aspiration into reality. Research and analysis for this report has identified C40 cities’ share of the remaining global carbon budgets to 2100, for 1.5 and 2 degree temperature rise scenarios. Target emissions trajectories have been established for 84II individual member cities that enable these budgets to be met. The work outlines some of the city-specific action pathways necessary to meet the target trajectories, laying out clearly the pace, scale and prioritisation of action needed between now and the end of the century. The analysis will be provided to C40 members and will be the basis for discussion about future C40 action.
Deadline 2020: four years to get on track
The overriding and deeply significant finding of the work is that the next 4 years will determine whether or not the world’s megacities can deliver their part of the ambition of the Paris Agreement. Without action by cities the Paris Agreement can not realistically be delivered. The business-as-usual path of C40 cities’ emissions needs to ‘bend’ from an increase of 35% by 2020, to peak at only a further 5% higher than current emissions. This “bending of the curve” is required now to ensure that in the coming decades the necessary reductions remain feasible, given that actions can take many years to mature and reach full scale.
Contraction and convergence
To remain within a 1.5 degree temperature rise, average per capita emissions across C40 cities need to drop from over 5tCO2e per capita today to around 2.9tCO2e per capita by 2030. For wealthier, high emitting cities that means an immediate and steep decline. Many fast developing cities can maintain their current levels for up to a decade, and in a small number of cases there is some scope for emissions per person to rise slightly before they eventually fall to zero. But every city needs to diverge considerably from its current business as usual pathway.
Cities are critical to delivering a climate safe future
Over half the emissions savings identified in this routemap can be delivered directly or through collaboration by C40 city governments. If the action pathway outlined in this document is pioneered by C40 cities, and then adopted by cities globally, action within urban areas would deliver around 40% of the savings needed to achieve the ambition of the Paris Agreement. Cities are therefore critical to delivering a climate safe future.
(2) August, 2016: “Governor Cuomo Announces Establishment of Clean Energy Standard that Mandates 50 Percent Renewables by 2030“
From the press release:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Public Service Commission’s approval of New York’s Clean Energy Standard, the most comprehensive and ambitious clean energy mandate in the state’s history, to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution, and ensure a diverse and reliable energy supply. The Clean Energy Standard will require 50 percent of New York’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030, with an aggressive phase in schedule over the next several years. In its initial phase, utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to procure and phase in new renewable power resources starting with 26.31 percent of the state’s total electricity load in 2017 and grow to 30.54 percent of the statewide total in 2021. The Clean Energy Standard will cost less than $2 a month to the average residential customer’s bill…
By 2030, the 50 percent renewable mandate will be a critical component in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (from 1990 levels) and by 80 percent by 2050.
The Clean Energy Standard will be enforced by requiring utilities and other energy suppliers to obtain a targeted number of Renewable Energy Credits each year. These credits will be paid to renewable developers to help finance new renewable energy sources that will be added to the electric grid.
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(3) September, 2016: New York City’s Roadmap to 80×50
From the executive summary:
In September 2014, New York City committed itself to 80 x 50, with an interim target to reduce GHG emissions 40 percent by 2030 (40 x 30), and took immediate steps to achieve that goal. We committed billions of dollars to reduce our own carbon footprint with investments in energy efficiency for municipal buildings. We followed that up with the release of One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City (OneNYC) in April 2015, laying the blueprint for inclusive climate action that works for all New Yorkers across four key visions of Growth, Equity, Sustainability, and Resiliency. In OneNYC, we expanded our commitment to 80 x 50 with new investments in renewable energy, electric vehicles, and solid waste management that are improving air quality across the city and catalyzing an important shift away from fossil fuel-based sources of energy. With New York City’s Roadmap to 80 x 50, the City is laying out a comprehensive report, based on the best available science and state-ofthe-art GHG emissions modeling, to assess what will be necessary to reach 80 x 50, and to promote economic opportunities that come from the investments that will be required.
Also from the report:
The Roadmap to 80 x 50
We now know what it takes to achieve 80 x 50. The City must accelerate efforts to make buildings and vehicles significantly more energy efficient, replace many fossil fuel-based heating and hot water systems in buildings with renewable or high efficiency electric systems, transition towards a renewables-based electric grid, significantly reduce the number of miles driven while transitioning remaining vehicle trips to electric and clean fuel vehicles, and achieve the goal of Zero Waste to landfills. The technologies necessary to shift away from fossil fuels and reduce waste-related emissions exist today. However, bold action is necessary from all levels of government and the private sector to make the investments, develop new regulatory frameworks, and drive institutional and societal changes necessary to achieve 80 x 50.
Proposed emissions reductions (p.11):
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(4) April, 2017: Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions
From the report:
In 2015, New York City buildings were responsible for 67 percent of citywide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the use of natural gas, electricity, heating oil, steam, and biofuel. The transportation sector accounted for 30 percent and the remaining GHG emissions stem largely from fugitive emissions released from landfills and wastewater treatment plants…
Since 2005, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have decreased in New York City citywide by approximately 14.8 percent despite significant increases in New York City’s population and economic activity (see Figure 2). New York City’s per capita GHG emissions in 2015 was an average of 6.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) emissions per capita, significantly lower than the American average of 19 tCO2e per capita. In the first nine years of tracking the city’s emissions, cleaner and more efficient electricity generation was the most significant driver behind GHG emission reductions.
Figure 3 below shows citywide annual GHG emissions from 2005 to 2015, by sectors, as
defined by the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). GHG emissions both citywide and in City government have decreased significantly in comparison to the base years (2005 and Fiscal Year 2006, respectively). In the first five years of tracking the city’s emissions, the most significant driver behind GHG emissions reductions was the switching of the fuel source for electricity generation from coal to natural gas – a less carbon-intensive energy source; and the construction of new natural gas power plants of higher efficiency.
Also from the report (p. 19):
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(5) June, 2017: Bill de Blasio signed Executive Order 26
From the Executive Order:
To protect our residents and all human beings from the effects of climate change, New York City will adopt the principles and goals of the Paris Agreement to deliver climate actions that are consistent with or greater than its own commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 and that support the critical goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as set forth in the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on Nov. 4, 2016…
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(5) September, 2017: 1.5 degrees C: Aligning New York City with the Paris Climate Agreement
From the introduction:
In 2014, the City of New York (the City) committed to reducing its GHG emissions 80 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels (80 x 50). The City’s 2016 report, New York City’s Roadmap to 80 x 50, used the best available science and state-of the-art analysis to identify strategies in the buildings, energy, waste, and transportation sectors that would achieve 80 x 50 based on current technology.
NYC’s progress toward 80 x 50 continues: our air is cleaner, our energy is greener, and we are sending less waste to landfills. Meeting the global carbon budget to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires that the City implement a priority subset of its 80 x 50 strategies by 2020 in order to accelerate GHG reductions. This plan clearly lays out the pace, scale, and impact of actions across the built environment that are necessary to bring NYC’s actions in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree Celsius outcome — and commits the City to lead in the development of a global protocol for carbon neutrality.
Equity and climate change are inexorably linked. While climate change affects everyone, its impacts are not equally shared. Simply put, the poorest and most vulnerable are the hardest hit. Therefore, the work to reduce GHG emissions must address economic and social inequities. This plan assesses near-term actions for their impacts and benefits, such as improved local air quality, preservation of housing affordability, and increased access to transportation and resources. The City will continue to incorporate equity in its climate policies and programs to achieve more environmentally and economically just outcomes for all New Yorkers.
Achieving the City’s climate objectives is no easy task and will require active participation by New Yorkers to transform the buildings we live in, the places we work, the ways we travel, and the goods we consume. The City must prioritize resources, policies, and programs that facilitate this transition.
A chart from the report (p. 7):
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(6) April, 2018: “Governor Cuomo Announces New Energy Efficiency Target to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Combat Climate Change”
From the press release:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an ambitious acceleration of energy efficiency in New York, including a comprehensive plan to achieve a new target for significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, decrease consumer energy costs and create job opportunities. Meeting the new energy efficiency target will deliver nearly one third of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to meet New York’s climate goal of 40 percent reduction by 2030. This announcement is part of the Governor’s State of the State proposal to develop a milestone Earth Day energy efficiency target and comprehensive strategy…
Statewide, New Yorkers pay about $35 billion annually for electricity and heating fuels, and buildings are responsible for 59 percent of statewide greenhouse gas emissions. The new 2025 energy efficiency target will cut emissions and energy costs by incentivizing building developers, commercial and institutional building owners, and residential households to pursue building improvements to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs (British thermal units) below forecasted energy use in 2025, the equivalent to energy consumed by 1.8 million New York homes. Meeting the target will accelerate achievement of energy efficiency in the next 7 years by more than 40 percent over the current path. The new energy efficiency target will not only save substantial heating fuels but will set New York State on a path to achieve annual electric efficiency savings of 3 percent of investor-owned utility sales in 2025.
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— Posted by JVS on 8.12.18