In statements made to coincide with the recent UN Climate Summit and the highly attended People’s Climate March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the release of the city’s new building-focused climate initiative. In a document entitled One City: Built to Last, the New York City Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability lays out ambitious plans for reducing citywide carbon emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This goal commits New York City to some of the greatest reductions in global warming emissions made by any city in the world.
The near-term strategy to achieve carbon reductions within the next ten years calls out the Passive House building standard as a guide for new construction and retrofit. The report calls Passive House a standard which “saves up to 90% of space heating and cooling costs, and provides very high indoor air quality.” Analysis labels “Drivers of Change”, pointing to building electricity and heating fuel efficiency for producing over 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MTCO2e) in emission reductions from 2005-2013. These measures are second only to reductions in the carbon intensity of electricity generation as reliance on coal-fired power plants lessens. This shows the potential power of driving down the energy use of New York City buildings.
Urban Green Council Executive Director, Russell Unger says “By making an 80 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2050 an official goal, New York City moves to the head of the pack on climate change mitigation. We applaud Mayor de Blasio for setting a smart idea on a path to reality, and look forward to working with the de Blasio Administration, City Council and leaders from labor and real estate to develop the roadmap that gets us there.”
475 High Performance Building Supply look forward to also working with NYC and NY Passive House, the Urban Green Council and other stakeholders to make implementation a reality. Read more on the subject in the NY Passive House press release distributed earlier this week.