Think of New York City, and the image that probably comes to mind includes buildings-perhaps a sea of them. That is because New York is a dense city of buildings: There are almost a million of them in an area of little more than 300 square miles. So it makes sense that if New York City wants to tackle its environmental issues, it will have to concentrate on the buildings. In New York City, buildings are an important part of our environment, and their design and operation affect our environment too.
In addressing climate change, energy use in buildings - including homes, schools, workplaces, stores, and public facilities - plays a key role, representing roughly 70 percent of citywide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To lower these emissions, we will need to upgrade our buildings to be more energy efficient and power our buildings with renewable sources of energy. By doing so, we will make our homes more affordable and create new jobs and businesses, in addition to advancing sustainability.
Today, we are carrying out this effort through the initiatives outlined in One City: Built to Last, the City's plan to reduce buildings-based emissions by 30 percent by 2025 from a 2005 baseline. The City is leading by example with a goal to reduce emissions by 35 percent by 2025. Looking ahead, the plan also called for a task force and technical study to identify the pathway New York City must take beyond 2025 to reduce further emissions toward the citywide goal of 80 percent reduction by 2050 from a 2005 baseline (80 x 50). This pathway will be aligned with efforts to reduce emissions from other sectors, including energy supply, transportation, and solid waste, as outlined in the City's comprehensive plan for 2050, One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City.
More efforts are currently underway. To provide a comprehensive picture of New York City's green building and energy efficiency policies, this website brings together major green building and energy efficiency initiatives undertaken by the Mayor's Office of Sustainability (MOS), numerous City agencies, and other entities working as partners to build a greener, greater New York.