NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal'

NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal'
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New York City approved a sweeping climate legislation package Thursday that is being compared to the Green New Deal.

In a 45-2 vote, the city legislature passed the Climate Mobilization Act, which aims to enact the largest carbon reduction measures of any city globally.

At the heart of the package is a bill that would require New York’s largest residential and commercial buildings to reduce carbon emissions 40 percent by 2040 and 80 percent by 2050. In comparison, the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress aims to get the U.S. electric grid running on 100 percent green energy by 2030.

The NYC bill’s requirements focus on buildings over 25,000 square feet, which represent just 2 percent of New York’s real estate yet account for about half of emissions from all buildings in the city. Overall, 70 percent of emissions in the city come from buildings.

Buildings that would be bound to the new emissions regulations include One World Trade Center and Trump Tower.

A report by the environmentalist group, Climate Works for all Coalition, ranked the Trump Tower as the fourth biggest energy user amongst all buildings in New York City. 

Other measures included in the comprehensive climate package include requirements for certain structures to build green roofs or be equipped with solar panels, measures to ease the construction of wind projects, and a requirement for the city to study how to shut down its 24 utility-scale power plants to be replaced with renewable energy sources and storage.

Supporters claim the bill would produce 40,000 new jobs, of which nearly 25,000 would be in construction.

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor of Introduction 1253 as it sets ambitious, comprehensive standards on New York City’s worst polluters, old buildings. By modernizing buildings to raise efficiency standards we will dramatically cut pollution long term,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, in a statement.

“Retrofitting for efficiency and sustainability will reduce our City’s carbon footprint and create thousands of much-needed, good paying jobs.”

The bill now awaits NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio's (D) signature.