New York City becomes first in the world to ban inefficient glass skyscrapers

New York City is taking a Big Apple-sized swing at climate change by enacting an initiative that will help cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30 percent by 2030 partly through major retrofitting of buildings and requiring energy efficient glass in skyscrapers.

As climate change continues to worsen around the globe, the United Nations has set a deadline to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint drastically by 2030 in order to keep world temperatures from reaching a dangerous level.

With plans in the works to protect more of the world’s oceans and between 30-50 percent of all lands, the United Nations could certainly use help from cities to achieve these goals.

And it’s only fitting that the city that hosts the United Nations headquarters takes a major first step.

According to Climate Change News:

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.

That means all future skyscraper construction will have to utilize energy efficient materials, especially energy efficient glass.

The initiative is part of New York City’s adoption of it’s own Green New Deal, which Mayor Bill de Blasio defended in a statement criticizing the federal government for not taking similar action.

“Every day we wait is a day our planet gets closer to the point of no-return,” he said. “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.”

“We don’t have the benefit of a federal government to lead the way and we can’t wait for this president to wake up,” de Blasio continued. “It’s on us to make radical change.”

The city council passed the new rules handily by an overwhelming 45-2 margin. And now New York City is emerging as a world leader in the fight against climate change, leading by example the way our nation should be.

“We’re going to send a message to the rest of the world that this is attainable,” Council Member Costa Constantinides said. “And other cities can take this legislation and implement it elsewhere. We expect other cities to follow New York, as they always do.”

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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