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Mayor Adams Releases “PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done,” New York City’s Strategic Climate Plan

 New York City Mayor Eric Adams today released PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done, New York City’s long-term strategic climate plan that highlights efforts the city is taking to protect New Yorkers from climate threats, improve quality of life, and build the green economy. This is the fifth in a series of climate plans released every four years by the city, as required by local law, and was developed with input from the New York City Climate Cabinet, which consists of representatives from more than 35 city agencies and offices, the Sustainability Advisory Board, and stakeholders. Actions in the plan specifically focus on execution and implementation, delivering on promises made to New Yorkers, and creating an equitable, healthy, and resilient future. PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done also highlights opportunities to leverage available state and federal funding sources, and comes in tandem with calls from Mayor Adams to ensure New York City receives its fair share of federal and state funding.

“We’re in this together, we will get through this together, and I am so proud of the work we are doing to protect our city, Mother Earth, and all New Yorkers from the effects of climate change,” said Mayor Adams. “New York City has already taken major steps to become more sustainable, resilient, and equitable, including breaking ground on the Lower East Side Resiliency Project, passing Local Law 97 to reduce building emissions, and rapidly electrifying our city’s fleet, which is already the greenest in the nation. But we are just getting started. Today, we are taking these efforts to the next level with PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done, which will increase resilience, protect our infrastructure, and save lives. This plan is about making sure our seniors can afford an air conditioner and their monthly utility bill to keep cool during increasingly hot weather, providing opportunity for our young people to get the education and training they need to become part of the new green economy, and making sure all New Yorkers have an opportunity to drive an electric vehicle, put up solar panels, or retrofit their home, no matter where they live or work. We have so much to be proud of and so much to protect, and PlaNYC will create a cleaner, greener, more just city for all.”

“Today’s release of the ‘Get Stuff Done’ PlaNYC is a win for a greener, healthier, and safer city,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Since the start of this administration, New York City has opened the city’s first all-electric school building, broke ground on the Brooklyn Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resilience project, completed a $50 million sewage and water main overhaul to improve drainage in Southeast Queens, and issued a Clean Construction executive order to reduce construction emissions from city projects. Today, we are taking action to take polluting vehicles off our streets, offer more affordable renewable energy options, put our trash to work, and lower our emissions from every major source — buildings, transportation, and food. Thank you to Mayor Adams, Chief Climate Officer Aggarwala, Director Charles-Guzman, and the climate leaders throughout New York City for advancing an action plan that meets the demands of the moment.”

“With PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done, we will deliver a safer, more resilient city to New Yorkers, improve our quality of life, and ensure we have the best-trained green workforce in the world,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “And we will put people first — especially those who have borne the brunt of climate change. I’m excited to work with my colleagues across government to get New Yorkers the climate solutions we deserve.”

“PlaNYC is crucially important to New York City’s future, said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “This plan sets a road map for how we can more quickly and meaningfully meet some of the most pressing challenges of climate change and, at the same time, expand the green economy, foster innovation, build new industries and create more and better jobs for tens of thousands of New Yorkers. For example, new industries such as offshore wind will create jobs and deliver a new, clean, sustainable energy source that will power the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy.”

“I am proud of PlaNYC, which not only addresses the urgent challenges facing our planet, but also reflects our commitment to integrating sustainability into our strategic priorities,” said Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack. “By implementing this plan, we are taking bold steps towards a more sustainable future, and I am confident that our collective efforts will make a meaningful impact in preserving our planet for generations to come.”

“Just 15 years ago, many people considered climate change a scientific theory. Today we know our climate is changing so rapidly that we must take immediate action to protect all New Yorkers,” New York City Chief Climate Officer and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “This plan lays out what we are doing to combat climate change on all fronts — making our buildings more energy efficient, reducing waste and transportation emissions, creating and storing renewable energy, and creating a new coastal resiliency division to protect the five boroughs from more intense storms and the worst effects of climate change.”

“This is a PlaNYC that threads public health, quality of life, and environmental justice throughout its initiatives and re-focuses climate work beyond decarbonization and adaptation,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) Executive Director Kizzy Charles-Guzman. “More accessible and well-maintained green spaces, healthier waterways and wetlands, cleaner and safer streets, healthier food and air, and thermal safety indoors will improve and save human lives today, even as we continue to adapt for the climate risks of the future. This work will also have global repercussions as one of the world’s largest economies — New York City — tirelessly acts to mitigate its own impact on our planet.”

Implementing Climate Budgeting to Align City Resources with Sustainability and Resiliency Goals

New York City will be the first big city in America to launch a climate budgeting initiative to ensure that it remains laser focused on prioritizing climate change and environmental justice in investments and decision-making. Climate budgeting is a process that incorporates science-based climate considerations into the city’s budget decision making process by evaluating how actions and spending today contribute to meeting longer-term climate targets. The process will help the city understand the climate impact of the dollars spent, identify where more investment is needed, and champion forward-looking investments to equitably achieve net-zero emissions citywide by 2050, as well as bolster resilience to extreme heat and flooding. The Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget will lead this initiative in partnership with MOCEJ.

Maximizing Funds from the Federal and State Funding

New York City is in the midst of tremendous budgetary challenges created in part by the asylum seeker crisis, decreased tax revenue, and the end of COVID-19 era stimulus funding from the federal government. Given the fact that New York City contributes more to the federal and state governments than it typically receives in return, coupled with the unprecedented funding committed to climate action — in legislation such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the New York State Environmental Bond Act — several PlaNYC initiatives would benefit from federal and state grants. PlaNYC aims to ensure the state gives New York City residents and businesses their fair share of climate funding. The city has therefore formed the New York City Federal Infrastructure Funding Task Force, which is working to maximize federal and state funding by helping select strong shovel-worthy and shovel-ready projects that meet the guidelines and standards of new and existing competitive grant opportunities.

Leading by Example

PlaNYC highlights areas in which New York City is leading by example to inspire private sector action and send a message to New Yorkers that protecting the city’s future is a top priority. The city will install solar energy, electric building infrastructure, green roofs, and other renewable energy on all viable city-owned property by 2035. The city will also phase out capital spending on new fossil fuel equipment and infrastructure and introduce a major citywide zoning text amendment — ‘City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality’ — which will remove obstacles to deploying clean energy, facilitate building retrofits for sustainability, and eliminate barriers to electrification.

The Public Solar Initiative

In coordination with the Office of the Comptroller, the Adams administration will create a first-of-its-kind public solar financing program for one-to-four family, low-income homeowners in environmental justice communities (neighborhoods that have historically, and continue to, experience the disproportionate impacts of climate change). In the past, low-income homeowners have been excluded from the clean energy economy and could not afford the upfront costs of installing rooftop solar panels, heat pumps, or other energy efficiency retrofits. The Public Solar initiative will help overcome those cost barriers. The city will pursue funds from the federal Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to provide 3,000 homes with proactive door-to-door outreach and financial assistance for rooftop solar panels over the next five years.

More at NYC.gov

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