A new report, Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers, details 10 proposals that would help New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio achieve his goal to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions 80% by the year 2050. In addition to achieving the desired emission reductions, if the city follows these proposals, it would not only make the city more resilient, but it also would create 40,000 jobs a year. The report was produced by the Alliance for a Greater New York, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, New York City Central Labor Council, Blue Green Alliance and the AFL-CIO.
Here is a quick look at the 10 proposals:
1. Retrofit the city's largest buildings: Investing $1 billion a year in retrofitting the big buildings in New York City for energy efficiency would create 16,000 jobs and have, by far, the largest impact on reducing emissions.
2. Replace Housing Authority boilers with combined heat and power systems: During Superstorm Sandy, 60 Housing Authority boilers were damaged. Half of them should be replaced with combined heat and power systems over the next three years.
3. Expand the Green Jobs–Green New York Program: Investing $50 million a year in the program that provides retrofits to private homes would attract private capital and save homeowners millions in energy costs, as well as create jobs and reduce emissions.
4. Install solar panels on the 100 largest schools: The de Blasio administration should install 50 megawatts of solar capacity over five years, which would have the additional benefit of reducing asthma-inducing pollution.
5. Fix leaking natural gas lines: More than 1,340 miles of natural gas pipelines throughout the city are made from leak-prone materials. A lot of progress has been made to reduce it to the current level, but accelerating the rest of the replacements would create as many as 17,000 jobs and save lives as deadly explosions can be prevented.
6. Invest in microgrids: Investing $400 million over the next three years in microgrids would not only create jobs and reduce emissions, they would help prevent widespread blackouts and promote energy self-reliance.
7. Improve flood protection and stormwater infrastructure: A $200 million investment over two years would increase the resiliency of the city, reduce stormwater runoff and sewage overflows and slow down storm surges that threaten climate-vulnerable communities.
8. Increase bus rapid transit and restore train service cuts: An investment of $2.1 billion over the next decade and the restoration of train service that has been cut would decrease vehicle usage and traffic congestion, it also would increase job access and improve the quality of life of affected residents.
9. Invest in public hospital resiliency measures: Investing $1.6 billion over five years would not only improve the technology and training of staff, it would insulate vulnerable communities from severe weather impacts and provide a safe environment and workplace for those who have to work during natural disasters.
10. Increase the efficiency of commercial waste hauling: The city should create a more efficient system of waste collection zones, which would have the added benefits of increasing revenue and improving the quality of life for low-income communities and communities of color.