Aligning NYC with the Paris Climate Agreement

On the 3rd October, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled 1.5°C: Aligning New York City with the Paris Climate Agreement’, becoming the first city in the world to release an action plan in line with the principles of the Paris Agreement.

The action plan reaffirms the City’s commitment to do its part to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius – the level required to prevent the worst impacts of climate change – by accelerating the implementation of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It represents an unequivocal response to President Trump’s intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, by committing local resources and leadership to tackle the threat of global climate change in the absence of federal leadership.

Buro Happold contributed to 1.5°C as the policy and technical consultant to C40 Cities, who sponsored the development of the action plan, working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and City agencies to prioritise 31 actions and analyse their impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and benefits such as job creation, affordability, and resiliency. The actions listed in the plan include the introduction of long-term energy intensity requirements for existing buildings, increased investment in public transit and cycling infrastructure, and accelerating the diversion of organic waste from landfills.

Buro Happold built upon the state-of-the-art technical analysis that it conducted with a team of experts for New York City’s Roadmap to 80×50. The Buro Happold project team was also able to build upon the firm’s extensive knowledge base of climate initiatives in New York City, including market research conducted for Community Retrofit NYC, market and cost analysis conducted for the Department of Sanitation on private carting, and design experience gleaned from the House at Cornell Tech and high performance buildings throughout the five boroughs.

1.5°C is the first climate action plan to have been reviewed and accepted as compatible with C40’s emerging Climate Action Planning Framework, and sets an example of a rigorous and integrated plan for other cities to replicate as they seek to support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

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