Study Finds 1 Percent of Nation's Greenhouse Gas Emissions From NYC

New York's greenhouse gas emissions were approximately 1 percent of 2005 U.S. totals and less than a third of the average U.S. per capita level, according to a study.

However, citywide emissions have increased by approximately 8 percent in the last 10 years and could increase approximately 25 percent above 2005 levels by 2030.

The findings, announced on April 10, are from the first comprehensive inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City's history. The inventory will serve as the benchmark for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent between now and 2030, a target Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg set during his Dec. 12, 2006, speech.

"New York has always been a leader in forward thinking public policies, and by undertaking the most comprehensive, detailed inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. history and establishing a very clear target for reductions, we will lead by example in fighting global warming," Bloomberg said.

The analysis shows that citywide carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions were approximately 58 million metric tons in 2005, with 79 percent coming from buildings.

The inventory reports that actions taken by the city from 1995 to 2006 resulted in the avoided emission of 446,000 metric tons of CO2e per year. Additional actions taken between 2006 and 2017 are projected to result in annual avoided emissions of 404,000 metric tons by 2017. The past actions include an agreement between the city and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) that provides financing for energy efficiency projects. Planned future to further reduce CO2e emissions include the switch from truck to barge and rail for the hauling of solid waste out of the city.

The mayor also announced that New York City will host mayors and delegations from cities around the world at the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, convened to promote the role of cities in reducing carbon emissions and reversing global climate change. The summit will take place May 14 to 17 at the Essex House Hotel and other venues throughout the city. Bloomberg will welcome mayors from more than 30 of the world's largest cities, including London, Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City and Moscow. Private sector companies also will be represented through sponsorship of sessions and events. These companies include: JP Morgan Chase & Co., Alcoa, Deutsche Bank, the Hearst Corp., the Shell Oil Co., Siemens, Time Warner, BSKYB, Citigroup, Con Edison, Federated Department Stores, General Electric, Keyspan, KPMG LLP, Swiss Re and Tishman Speyer.

"The climate summit will showcase the important role that New York City's international business community is playing around the world to help cities make the most of the economic development opportunities associated with cleaner and greener business practices," said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

The report can be accessed in PDF format at

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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