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The New York City Carbon Challenge
The New York City Carbon Challenge

About the Challenge

Recognizing the existential threat that climate change poses to New York City and the world, Mayor Bill de Blasio has set the ambitious goal to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. With Mayor de Blasio’s commitment, New York City reaffirmed its continued leadership in addressing global climate change. Because buildings account for nearly three-quarters of New York City’s emissions, the Mayor also released One City: Built to Last-Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low Carbon Future. The plan is a comprehensive, 10-year roadmap to improve the energy efficiency of the city's buildings, and sets an ambitious goal to reduce the city’s building-based emissions 30 percent by 2025 in order to be on the pathway to 80 x 50.

We know we can’t achieve our ambitious goals without the help of partners from the private sector. Over 100 participants have accepted the NYC Carbon Challenge, including the City’s largest universities, hospitals, commercial owners and tenants, residential property management firms, and hotels. Participants have pledged to voluntarily reduce their building-based emissions by 30 percent or more over the course of ten years. In total, current participants account for over 500 million square feet of real estate, or more than 9 percent of citywide building square footage.


The Carbon Challenge participants have moved aggressively to cut their energy use and emissions. In fact, 10 participants have already met the 30 percent goal, and 13 universities, hospitals, and commercial offices have expanded their commitment to a 50 percent reduction by 2025. All together, participants have cut their annual emissions by 340,000 metric tons of carbon and are collectively saving almost $175 million annually in lower energy costs. By the end of the program, current participants are projected to reduce citywide emissions by nearly 515,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent– the equivalent of taking more than 100,000 cars off the roads – and result in an estimated $220 million in energy cost savings.

The Carbon Challenge works by inspiring a high-level commitment within organizations, creating a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices, and providing simple tools to measure progress along the way. As they explore new ideas and opportunities to meet the Challenge goal, participants will also reveal effective strategies for energy efficiency that can be scaled up across New York City and beyond.

Learn how these 11 early achievers met the Carbon Challenge goal:

Press and Announcements

Mayor de Blasio Announces Major Expansion of NYC Carbon Challenge as 22 Commercial Owners and Tenants Commit to Dramatically Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Next 10 Years

With Holiday Tourism Underway, Mayor de Blasio Announces 16 Hotels To Join NYC's Fight Against Climate Change, Commit to 30 Percent Reduction in Emissions in Next 10 Years

Mayor de Blasio Launches Retrofit Accelerator, Providing key Support for Buildings to go Green as NYC Works Toward 80x50

Mayor de Blasio Commits to 80 Percent Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2025, Starting with Sweeping Green Buildings Plan

Learn more