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Mayor de Blasio's One City: Built to Last Wins C40 Building Energy Efficiency Award in Paris

December 3, 2015

Sweeping Green Buildings Plan Commits to Retrofitting All Public Buildings and Spurring Private Retrofits as NYC Works Toward 80x50

NEW YORK—New York City’s sweeping green buildings plan, One City: Built to Last – which was unveiled by Mayor Bill de Blasio last year – and the City's Buildings Technical Working Group won the C40 Climate Leader Group’s Building Energy Efficiency award at a ceremony this evening in Paris during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). One City is a comprehensive ten-year plan to green public and private buildings and reduce building-based emissions 30 percent by 2025, as the City charts a path toward an overall 80 percent reduction in all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a dramatic reduction in its contributions to climate change.

“Cities are continuing to set the pace on climate action,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We’re honored that C40 has recognized New York City’s leadership as we undertake our sweeping green buildings plan and a comprehensive climate agenda. We’ll continue to partner with fellow cities around the globe to drive real progress – and to ensure national leaders in Paris and beyond join with us.”

“As leaders from around the world meet in Paris to agree on binding emission targets, the efforts of these 10 Award-winning cities remind us that innovation drives results, and concrete solutions and actions – that improve the health, well-being and economic opportunities of urban citizens – can be implemented right now. I thank our esteemed Jury Panel and commend my fellow mayors for their leadership and commitment to tackle climate change. By taking local action, we are having a global impact,” said C40 Chair, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes.

First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris is in Paris to accept the award and attend COP21 on Mayor de Blasio’s behalf.

“New York City and cities around the world are represented in Paris to send a clear message to national leaders: the time is now for real climate action,” said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris. “I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of Mayor de Blasio and New York City – and we hope that the innovative sustainability agendas honored here tonight provide a model for tackling climate change around the globe.”

“C40’s award validates the pathbreaking and difficult work that began with One City, and is now moving towards realization with the stakeholders and local leaders of our Buildings Technical Working Group. We are confident that our data-based and collaborative approach will break the mold for city building standards world-wide, and will provide a treasure trove of strategies that other cities can use as well. We share this award with the building owners, agencies, environmental groups, labor, and the leading architects and engineers in the city who are working so hard with us to find real solutions to the Gordian knot of embedding energy efficiency into our buildings. ” said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

“As we learned so vividly during Hurricane Sandy, the risks from coastal storms and sea level rise exist today and are only growing,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Director of the NYC Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency‎. “That's why it is so critical that we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions now to avoid the worst impacts from climate change. Today’s C40 award is one more example of Mayor de Blasio’s climate leadership that is helping us to achieve a stronger, more resilient New York City.”

C40 is a network of the world’s largest cities committed to addressing climate change; it supports collaboration between cities in pursuit of measurable and sustainable climate action. C40 received over 200 applications from 94 cities for the 2015 Awards, which were reviewed in partnership with sustainability think tank and consultancy Sustainia.

Nearly three quarters of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy used to heat, cool, and power buildings, making building retrofits a central component of the City’s plan to dramatically reduce emissions.

The City is making at least $1 billion in investments to retrofit its public buildings, including schools and public housing, reducing the government’s contribution to climate change and generating operational savings for New York City taxpayers. Every single city-owned building with any significant energy use – approximately 3,000 buildings – will be retrofitted within the next ten years, by 2025, with interim goals along the way.

The City is also spurring building owners to invest in efficiency upgrades, including through the Retrofit Accelerator, which provides free technical assistance and advisory services for building owners to go green through energy efficiency, water conservation, and clean energy upgrades.

The City’s Buildings Technical Working Group is working on ambitious targets and strategies to catalyze energy reductions in buildings, leading to retrofits in thousands of private-owned buildings. High energy costs take a disproportionate toll on lower-income residents who typically live in less-efficient buildings and must pay a higher share of their income for energy. The City’s plan aims to lower New Yorkers’ energy costs while reducing emissions, improving air quality and stimulating demand for retrofitting and renewable energy jobs.

One City: Built to Last is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 3.4 million metric tons a year by 2025 – equivalent to taking 715,000 vehicles off of the road – making it a key part of New York’s OneNYC emissions reduction and clean air goals. It will also generate cost-savings across the public and private sectors of more than $1.4 billion a year by 2025, leading to $8.5 billion in cumulative energy cost-savings over ten years. It’s anticipated that approximately 3,500 new jobs in construction and energy services will be created, in addition to the training of more than 7,000 building staff to upgrade their skills.

“I commend Mayor De Blasio's leadership on receiving the C40 Climate Leader Group’s Building Energy Efficiency in recognition of our city's groundbreaking energy policies.  It takes collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve our commitment to reducing our carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and reducing building-based emissions 30% by 2025.  New York City is the largest city in the world to commit to this goal and the plan laid out to reach it serves as a model for implementing these innovative partnerships. This prestigious award by C40 recognizes our city's deep commitment to sustainability and energy policy reform and we are excited to continue to be an international leader on these issues,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection.

“This award is proof that New York City's efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are a model for the rest of the world. Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio and his team for this tremendous achievement and for leading the way for other cities around the world to follow,” said John H. Banks, III, President, The Real Estate Board of New York.

“By committing to 80x50, Mayor de Blasio established a bold path for New York City,” said Russell Unger, Executive Director of Urban Green Council. “Big change often originates in the most unassuming and nimble of government structures: cities. So it is with carbon reduction. We’re proud that NYC’s environmental leadership is once again recognized by C40.”

“The C40 award recognizes the great strides New York City is taking on reducing energy waste in our city's buildings," said Donna De Costanzo, Director of Northeast Energy and Sustainable Communities at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Energy efficiency is the easiest, fastest and cheapest tool we have to address climate change. Mayor de Blasio is continuing New York City's strong leadership on this issue and demonstrating the important role cities play in fighting the biggest environmental challenge of our time.”

“New York City is showing the way to dramatically reducing energy use in buildings. The work the city and its building sector are doing will be influential across the country,” said Michael Northrop, Program Director, Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

“ALIGN is excited to see this well deserved global recognition by the C40 for Mayor de Blasio's innovative and comprehensive OneNYC plan. Through the leadership of the Mayor and the Technical Working Group, New York City is demonstrating that cities can address the climate crisis and inequality crisis with a common set of solutions for planet and people,” said Matt Ryan, Executive Director, ALIGN.

“We congratulate the City and Mayor de Blasio on this award, which recognizes their commitment to creating a sustainable city for all New Yorkers and future generations,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa. “Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is a major priority for 32BJ members and thousands of union members who clean and maintain New York’s residential and commercial buildings have taken classes to learn how they can reduce energy in their own buildings. We’re proud to be working with the City and building owners to cut our carbon footprint. ”

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