New York City bans inefficient glass skyscrapers, WA state to end coal

New York mayor announces sweeping climate change programme, while Washington’s power will be carbon-neutral by 2030.

The New York programme, dubbed OneNYC 2050, sets out to achieve carbon neutrality and 100% clean energy by 2050 by modernising the city’s buildings, transport, and boosting clean energy. In a global first, New York City will be ordering all existing buildings of 25,000 square feet or more, of which there are 50,000 across the city, to carry out energy upgrades in a bid to slash their emissions. Buildings account for 70% of the city’s carbon pollution. The plan bans inefficient all-glass constructions, many of which have defined the city’s iconic skyline. Such buildings will have to meet strict conditions to be built in future.

Moreover, the city’s administration will seek to power its operations from 100% clean energy by connecting the city to zero-emission Canadian hydropower. The entire raft of packages, which includes both new and already committed cash, will cost $14bn.

Cities and states in many parts of the US have been developing their own climate plans, spurred in part by the Trump White House’s efforts to undermine action to tackle the problem.

Westward, the Washington state senate passed its own clean electricity legislation, which requires 100% of the state’s electricity to be carbon-neutral by 2030 and carbon-free by 2045. The bill, which has already passed the house, also requires state utilities to phase out coal power by 2025.

Championed by democratic governor and presidential candidate Jay Inslee, the bill also brings unions onboard by ensuring jobs in the renewables sector. It offers tax exemptions for projects that promote collective labour organising, local workforces, minority employment and high quality jobs.(Source: climate change news)