by Nicholas Kusnetz, InsideClimate News
New York City set an ambitious new standard for combating greenhouse gas emissions on Thursday, approving a package of climate policies designed to slash energy use in big buildings—the top polluters in the nation’s biggest city.
Supporters say the bills represent one of the largest emissions cutsadopted by any city worldwide and offer a template others can follow.
The plans approved by the City Council are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings by 40 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2030—about 26 percent below current levels. Buildings account for two-thirds of the city’s emissions, so slashing their energy use is critical to meeting New York’s larger climate goals.