Join Major Cities & Companies to Tackle the Climate Emergency

May 1, 2019

New York City and Los Angeles plan to implement sweeping emissions-cutting policies. Companies across the globe are adopting more sustainable practices. See what they’re doing, and why you should take note.

Carbon Neutral Trend

It’s likely you’re hearing the words “carbon neutral” more and more these days. Major cities around the world are taking significant steps to achieve carbon neutrality, which means having net zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal or eliminating carbon emissions altogether.

It’s all in an effort to tackle the impending climate emergency. Read how these cities and companies are going greener—and how you can help with your facility.

(Photo: Washington, DC. USA. 12.10.18: Hundreds of young people occupy Representative offices to pressure the new Congress to support a committee for a Green New Deal - Shutterstock)

Los Angeles’ Green New Deal

The mayor of Los Angeles announced April 29, 2019 that it’s striving to be carbon neutral by 2050 through its Green New Deal, which “sets aggressive goals for the city’s sustainable future, tackles the climate emergency with accelerated targets [and] strengthens our economy and our middle class.”

The initiative calls for such goals as these three:

1. Build a zero carbon electricity grid—reaching a goal of 80% renewable energy supply by 2036 and leading California toward 100% renewables by 2045

2. Create a Jobs Cabinet to bring city, labor, educational and business leaders together to support the effort to create 300,000 green jobs by 2035 and 400,000 by 2050

3. Mandate that all new municipally owned buildings and major renovations be all-electric, effective immediately, and that every building in LA—from skyscrapers to single family homes—become emissions free by 2050.

[Read what Pittsburgh and Chicago have done.]

NYC Passes Huge Emissions Legislation

The New York City Council also recently passed major emission legislation. Comprising eight bills, the Climate Mobilization Act would require large and medium-sized buildings to reduce their emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

According to a City Council press release, this legislation “is one of the most ambitious and innovative legislative initiatives any major city has ever considered to combat the existential threat of climate change.”

[Related: How Much Embodied Carbon Is In Your Building?]

“The Climate Mobilization Act is a down payment on the future of New York City—one that ensures we lead the way in the ever-growing fight against climate change,” said council member Costa Constantinides in a press release. “Today, we sent that message to the world by enacting the boldest mandate to reduce carbon emissions, tackling one of the biggest drivers of climate change.”

Verizon Pledges Carbon Neutrality

The major wireless communications company also recently announced it plans to go carbon neutral by 2035. “This will be achieved through a combination of reducing those emissions directly, migrating energy procurement in favor of renewable and clean energy and through the purchase of carbon offsets,” reads a press release.

What You Can Do

As you consider a climate action plan for your facility, revisit our articles that delve into emissions-cutting, energy-saving strategies such as:

About the Author

Sarah Kloepple | Associate Editor

Sarah joined the BUILDINGS team as an associate editor in August 2018. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, where her focus was magazine writing. She's written and edited for numerous publications in her hometown of St. Louis.

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