New York

United States
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Elected 2014

New York in our Blog

Around the world, mayors and local leaders are taking steps to tackle climate change whilst addressing issues of poverty and social inequality. Through a series of short films and an accompanying print publication – all made possible with generous support from the Citi Foundation – C40 is excited to feature six mayors who are delivering inclusive climate action in their cities.  

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Nuestras ciudades están en el frente de la crisis del cambio climático. La subida del nivel del mar amenaza a millones de ciudadanos con inundaciones y, a su vez, los inviernos más fríos y los veranos más calurosos afectan especialmente a las zonas más vulnerables de nuestras ciudades. Las emisiones nocivas de los vehículos que circulan por el centro de nuestras ciudades contaminan el aire que respiran nuestros hijos. 

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Nos villes sont en première ligne de la crise du changement climatique. L’élévation du niveau de la mer menace des millions de personnes avec des inondations, pendant que des hivers plus froids et des étés plus chauds accablent les plus vulnérables de nos villes. Les émissions nocives des véhicules qui roulent dans nos centres urbains polluent l’air que nos enfants respirent.

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Our cities are on the frontline of the climate change crisis. Rising sea levels threaten millions of citizens with flooding, while colder winters and hotter summers take their toll on the most vulnerable in our cities. The noxious emissions from vehicles passing through our city centres pollute the air that our children breathe. 

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According to a 2012 report by The Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors, there is a $72 billion investment opportunity in commercial energy efficiency retrofits globally that could yield 848 trillion BTUs in energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 175 million metric tons per year, which is approximately equivalent to the annual GHG emissions from 46 coal-fired power plants. In cities like New York, energy and GHG savings lie in the multi-family housing segment, where 67 percent of the buildings required by law to measure and report their energy usage, are multi-family buildings. That is why C40’s Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network, brought together policy and technical energy efficiency finance experts from New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. to share best practices and lessons learned in financing multi-family retrofits. 

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During Climate Week NYC and the UN General Assembly in New York this week, the international community marks the ratification of the Paris Agreement by 60 countries. It now seems likely that the Paris Agreement will enter into force before the next major gathering of the UN on this issue, COP22 in Marrakesh. Nation states remain committed to delivering on their ambition to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius - and cities have a key role to play, as partners to nations and regions, as innovators, and as leaders.

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Today, C40 announced the 35 finalists competing in ten urban climate action categories for the fourth-annual C40 Cities Awards, sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and BYD. The winners will be announced on December 1, 2016, at a ceremony in Mexico City, held alongside the sixth biennial C40 Mayors Summit.

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For a number of years, a group of C40 cities active in the Green Growth Network have been working to understand the size and nature of their green economies. This information - including economic value, number of jobs, number of companies, specialist sectors, exports, and green growth potential - is crucial to help cities identify where the most effective interventions can be made and help make the case for further sustainable policies that help grow the green economy. 

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At the start of December 2015, all eyes were on Paris for the COP21 climate negotiations, regarded by many as a pivotal moment in determining global climate action. C40 was fortunate to be there on the ground to help showcase innovative and effective climate actions taking place in the world’s cities. Through a series of fantastic events at Paris City Hall, Le Bourget and other iconic locations around the city, mayors from around the world gathered to celebrate successful projects and plans, share their stories and knowledge, voice their ideas, and establish opportunities for action over the next 5 years and beyond.

 

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With over 8.4 million residents packed alongside 520 miles of shoreline, New York City has a compelling need to focus on resiliency. Indeed, as the largest city in the United States, New York typically spends $8 to 10 billion each year on capital projects, including environmentally-beneficial infrastructure. Bonds play a critical role in financing these projects.

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Next week, C40 and Siemens will announce the finalists for the second annual C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards. But before that happens, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the projects that won last year for demonstrating climate leadership in areas as diverse as urban transportation and adaptation and resilience.

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In the lead-up to next week’s C40 Mayors Summit, where Climate Adaptation and Resilience will be key themes, we hear from C40’s very own Mandy Ikert about an exciting new collaboration to help cities prepare for the shocks and stresses of climate change.

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In 2007, the PlaNYC report A Greener, Greater New York brought to light the risks New York City is facing due to the inclement effects of climate change. Since that time many measures have been taken to make the city better prepared, but Superstorm Sandy was a strong reminder that threats from extreme weather events still exist.

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When superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States last October, the incident thrust to the forefront an already-brewing discussion about climate change and the increasing frequency of extreme weather. New York City felt the full force of Sandy, which caused an estimated $19 billion in damage and an interruption to economic activity. In response to the devastating storm, C40 Chair and Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg announced a plan Tuesday – to be implemented immediately – to prepare New York City for future storms.

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There are more than 900,000 buildings in New York City alone. These structures, both historic and contemporary, literally define a city like New York. Landmarks like the Empire State Building draw in thousands of people every day for work and tourism. Yet these structures also place a high demand on our environment and national resources.

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C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, gave a speech this Thursday in Lower Manhattan before the League of Conservation Voters outlining the long-term challenges posed by severe weather and how New York City plans to respond. At the event, Mayor Bloomberg was introduced by former Vice President Al Gore who lauded Bloomberg’s unparalleled response to the challenges presented by climate change. “Among mayors of this nation and this world, he stands out. I don't know of anybody who has done more.”

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To address this issue, C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg established the New York City Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) through PlaNYC, the city’s long-term sustainability plan. The BCP is the first city-run cleanup program established in the United States, which usually relies on states to regulate and oversee environmental cleanups. By administering its own program, New York City has dramatically accelerated brownfield cleanup and redevelopment in all five of its boroughs.

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For our second August rewind post, we have selected a “Mayors Voices” post from C40 Chair New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. In this post, Mayor Bloomberg calls mayors “the great pragmatists on the world's stage.” Mayor Bloomberg explains how mayors across the globe are directly responsible for the well-being of the majority of the world's population and why they can lead in implementing actions on the local level that will have a lasting global impact. This post originally ran on February 14, 2012.

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C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, recently announced more than $100 million in financing and other new resources to help city buildings convert to cleaner fuels. The financing and assistance results from innovative partnerships between leading banks, energy providers and environmental groups, and are a part of the NYC Clean Heat program the Mayor launched last year to help buildings meet cleaner fuel requirements.

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The C40 Cities of Lima and New York, recently conducted an exchange in the area of non-motorized transportation – getting people to walk or bike instead of taking taxis, cars or buses. The exchange was facilitated by C40 and represents a model for peer-to-peer learning that other C40 Cities can replicate. Its goal was to share best practices on the development and implementation of public bike share programs. New York’s Department of Transport (DOT) will soon launch its "Citi Bike" program, while Lima’s program is in the early stages of development.

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Two weeks ago, the big picture of New York City’s green building efforts became a little clearer. Until now, a building owner, an architect, a consultant, a student, a policymaker, or anyone interested in learning what New York City was doing with buildings needed to delve through numerous City agency websites to find information, all the while finding it difficult to grasp the big picture of how these efforts were making a collective impact on the City’s sustainability goals. Even City employees had a hard time connecting agencies’ efforts. Facilities managers and other individuals complying with various regulations, such as benchmarking under the city’s comprehensive Greener, Greater Buildings Plan would have to research disconnected web pages jam-packed with information, yet difficult to navigate.

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This past Sunday, Earth Day, C40 Chair New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg used his weekly radio address to update New Yorkers on the progress that had been made since PlaNYC – the city’s blueprint for sustainability and climate change adaptation – was instituted five years ago. 

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New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chair of the C40, announced yesterday the addition of 70 electric vehicles (EVs) to the City’s fleet, making it the largest municipal clean-air vehicle fleet in the US. To spur the take-up of EVs by New York residents, the City also launched the Drive Electric NYC website, to provide facts about EVs, including a map of charging stations located throughout the city.

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C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined The Climate Group yesterday in launching Climate Week NYC, a program of meetings, demonstrations, lectures and exhibitions that harness the City’s will to address climate change through local action -- and global collaboration.

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