New York City aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions from buildings

New York City aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions from buildings
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New York City is imposing restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings.

The new pollution standards, announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Thursday, would require owners of large buildings to take steps to meet new fossil fuel caps, including upgrading boilers, water heaters, roofs and windows, and accelerating replacement or refinancing plans for their buildings.

The targets aim to help the city cut its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent by 2035.

De Blasio will ask the City Council to enact legislation mandating the targets and penalize buildings that exceed them. The proposed legislation will also expand financing options to help small-building owners achieve the climate goals.

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“Time is not on our side,” de Blasio said in a statement.

“New York will continue to step up and make critical changes to help protect our city and prevent the worst effects of climate change. We must shed our buildings’ reliance on fossil fuels here and now.”

The building standards come as New York attempts to abide by the Paris climate deal, which aims to reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

Shortly after President Trump announced that he would pull the United States from the agreement, de Blasio signed an executive order affirming the deal and committing the city to its goals.

Fossil fuels burned for heat and hot water in New York's buildings account for 42 percent of the city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, de Blasio’s office said.