Yesterday in celebration of Earth Day, a new plan with the aim of reducing green house gases was announced by New York City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio. The strategy of building a fair city for the future, includes initiatives against the climate crisis, strengthening the democracy and achieving equity, all of which is outlined in OneNYC 2050. The main points are summarised below:
The Green New Deal has a total of nine volumes: OneNYC2050, A Vibrant Democracy, An Inclusive Economy, Thriving Neighbourhoods, Healthy Lives, Equity And Excellence In Education, A Livable Climate, Efficient Mobility and Modern Infrastructure. All of these volumes working cohesively together, will follow the United Nations Paris Agreement as well.
A statement released by Mayor Bill De Blasio reads:
“Every day we wait is a day our planet gets closer to the point of no-return. New York City’s Green New Deal meets that reality head on. We are confronting the same interests that created the climate crisis and deepened inequality. There’s no time to waste. We’re taking action now, before it’s too late.”
According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the key points for the Green New Deal involve –
• Committing to carbon neutrality and 100 percent clean electricity by 2050
• Requiring buildings to cut their emissions – a global first
• Banning new inefficient glass-walled buildings
• Hydro-powered city government
• Mandatory organics recycling
• Reducing waste and carbon-intensive consumption
• Aligning with U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Over the past day, two main changes in order to achieve the goals above have been highlighted in the press. These are, phasing out the purchase of processed meat/reducing beef purchases by 50% and banning the construction of any new skyscrapers made of steel and glass due to them being a massive source of emissions in the city. Scientific evidence regarding the meat industry as being one of the leading contributors to climate change has grown substantially, due to cattle being one of the biggest emitters of methane gas (25x more potent than CO2).
Other initiatives such as switching to Canadian hydropower, retrofitting old large buildings for lower emissions, mandatory recycling of organic waste, phasing out as much unnecessary single-use plastic waste as possible and switching to renewable energy within 5 years are all part of the new shift.
This proposal has been deemed radical due to the strong mandates and high projected cost that will use taxpayer money, are you optimistic for these upcoming changes or apprehensive?
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