The mayor of New York bids farewell to office with a slew of climate-related initiatives.
He signed legislation this week prohibiting the use of fossil fuels in new buildings beginning in 2023, as well as divesting $3 billion in fossil fuels from his pension funds.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will step down on December 31, and will be succeeded by ex-cop Eric Adams, who is also a Democrat. In recent days, the still-in-charge of the country’s largest and most important city, as well as one of the most important in the globe, has rushed to sign into law a number of climate-change-fighting measures.
One of the proposed restrictions is to phase out the use of fossil gas (commonly known as natural gas) in new construction. The regulation specifically prohibits the use of fossil fuels in newly constructed residential and commercial structures. The restriction will take effect for buildings under seven floors at the end of 2023, and for bigger buildings four years later. By 2027, all buildings must be entirely electric, regardless of height. Heating systems, kitchens, and water heaters will all need to be powered by renewable energy. Hospitals, commercial kitchens, and laundries, on the other hand, will be exempt.
The city claims that by 2040, this program will prevent 2.1 million tons of carbon emissions, which is comparable to removing 450,000 automobiles off the road for a year. “New York City is proof that it is possible to end the fossil fuel era, invest in a sustainable future, safeguard public health, and create good-paying employment,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “If America’s largest city can take this strong move to outlaw gas use, any community can do the same!” he said to the rest of the world.
There will be less money for the fossil fuel sector.
De Blasio also signed legislation requiring the divestment of stocks tied to fossil fuel firms. Three of New York’s five pension funds are implicated, totaling $3 billion (roughly €2.65 billion). “Today is a huge win for our planet, our children, and our retirees,” said Scott M. Stringer, the fund’s executive director.
The money in securities has already been removed from the Employees’ Retirement System ($1.8 billion, or 1.59 billion euros) and the Board of Education Retirement System ($100 million, or 88 million euros). The Teachers’ Retirement System is currently undergoing divestiture – the consistory says – with more over $1 billion (approximately €884 million) divested to date, and another $1 billion expected to be divested in the first quarter of 2022.
The goal is to “triple investments in climate change solutions” to more than $8 billion by 2025, and to reach a total of more than $37 billion in “climate solutions” by 2035 with this effort.
Green energy is being promoted in New York.
Bill de Blasio also signed off on a list of steps to “address the climate problem and build a green and just future in New York City” in order to meet the ambitious target of zero net emissions by 2040.
The first is a new deal to bring wind, solar, and hydroelectric power from upstate New York and Canada to the Big Apple. It will “supply enough clean energy per year to power more than 2.5 million homes, and will boost the reliability and resiliency of electricity,” according to a statement from City Hall. The goal is for all municipal government functions to run on fossil-free energy by 2025.
In the face of possible widespread power disruptions last summer, New York’s mayor urged on citizens to quickly limit energy use, including turning off air conditioning, in the face of a heat wave “almost unimaginable” without the influence of climate change.
Another of the signed acts intends to speed the time frame for reaching an all-electric municipal vehicle fleet, necessitating a 420 million dollar investment (about 371 million euros). With this amount, more than 1,250 electric cars will be purchased next year, and at least 1,776 fast chargers will be installed by 2030. It also includes an executive order mandating the use of electric vehicles for all passenger cars and light trucks in the city’s fleet.
Finally, de Blasio has signed a bill into law that raises the bar for climate change mitigation in his still-functioning administration. The company wants to cut emissions from its activities by 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. A total of $4.6 billion (about €4 billion) has been set aside for this purpose during the next ten years.
Article Author: Gerluxe Image: spglobal