PROGRESSIVE POLICY & RESEARCH: 300-level
DATE // START TIME // ROOM NUMBER:
Thursday, September 30, 2010 – 9:00am – Altman Gallery
A discussion of different carbon reduction strategies being pursued by New York, other American cities, and the federal government, and how closer coordination between these entities can significantly shrink our carbon footprint.
Laurie Kerr, Senior Policy Advisor, NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability
Cliff Majersik, Executive Director, Institute for Market Transformation
Many cities have set or would like to set citywide carbon reduction goals, but they lack clear strategic direction. Since they are unable to estimate the carbon impact of the building-related policies that they are pursuing, it is difficult to know where to begin, how to set priorities, or how to track progress. A lack of such analytical tools means that they may have thoughtful individual strategies, but no overarching plan that could connect the smaller pieces and create a compelling narrative. Understanding the scale of impacts from particular code strategies would make the critical difference between traveling by instinct or having a map, and would help policy-makers prioritize which measures are most worth pursuing and which measures are ultimately most worth fighting for.
The first major steps in mitigating climate change are doable now at the scale of a city as large as New York, and they will not just clean our air, but will create jobs and save money. Necessary ingredients include:
- A clear analytical foundation
- A mix of strategies that includes a focus on existing buildings
- A requirement that the strategies be sustainable – economically beneficial and environmentally sound
- Knowing the impact of these strategies
- Political will
In developing PlaNYC, there was a careful analysis showing that providing cleaner, more reliable power, embarking on cost-effective efficiency efforts, and improving transportation could lead to a 30% citywide carbon emission reduction by 2030. Now, three-and-a-half years after the publication of PlaNYC, the city’s efforts are very much underway, and appear to be on target.
Laurie Kerr, Senior Policy Advisor in the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, will explain how New York City’s strategies fit together to reach the City’s 30% carbon reduction goal. She will take the audience through policies already in place like the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, potential future policies such as the passage of Green Codes Task Force proposals, and additional contributions including the repowering of cleaner power plants and other strategies that will collectively shrink the city’s carbon footprint.