NYC climate plan aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 with public solar program, green transit

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Friday, April 21, 2023
New NYC climate plan aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050
New York City released its most recent climate plan promising to focus on providing equitable green solutions to all neighborhoods.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City released its most recent climate plan Thursday promising to focus on providing equitable green solutions to all neighborhoods while cutting emissions in city-owned spaces.

Mayor Eric Adams released PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done, which outlines the city's long-term strategies to protect New Yorkers from climate threats while building a greener economy.

A massive installion of solar panels on the roof of the Frank J. Macchiarola Educational Complex is the largest school solar project in the city. The panels are part of a clean energy, sustainabilty project that will help reduce asthma.

By next month, 76 additional school installations will be completed as one component of the mayor's plan to combat climate change.

"Now they are also learning in a clean healthier building and are also exposed to green energy not in far off future but today," said Kizzy Charles-Guzman the Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of CLimate and Environmental Justice.

The solar project will also include a green job training program, like the one at Thomas Edison Career and Technical Education High that Eyewitness News visitied in May 2022.

"The children in this community will be part of the installation, the building of the solar panels, they go into the schools here and leave with certifications on how to build out an initiative and a project like this," Mayor Adams said.

The multi-pronged strategy focuses on cutting transportaion emission in half by 2030 by electrify school buses, the city's fleet and for hire vehicles by 2030 as well as installing electric-vehicle charging station within every 2.5 miles.

"This plan includes newer quality monitoring, work to maintain and improve our existing trees and plant new trees, work to get polluting trucks off the streets," Charles-Guzman said.

A pilot program to get trucks with high emission levels off the street is already underway. The city will create microhubs for delivery truck drivers who will use cargo bikes or hand trucks to drop off packages.

A public solar initiative would provide financial assistance for low-income homeowners in neighborhoods that have been disproportionally affected by climate change. The goal is to get 3,000 homes enrolled in the program over the next five years.

Solar-energy solutions, green roofs and other renewable energy would be installed on viable city-owned properties while phasing out spending on fossil fuel infrastructure.

PlanNYC would allow existing buildings to be retrofitted with clean energy solutions that otherwise could not explore sustainable energy without the hassle of zoning red tape.

"Hat's off to Mayor Bloomberg, former Mayor Bloomberg who had a real vision and put us on this course," Adams said. "And then to Mayor de Blasio for not abandoning the pursuit."

The MTA also announced it would cut its carbon footprint by 85% within 17 years. The agency found it currently puts out 2 million metric tons of CO2 a year.

ALSO READ | More than one-third of Americans live in places with unhealthy levels of air pollution: Report

According to the American Lung Association, 4 in 10 Americans live in places with unhealthy air pollution levels.


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