Last week, the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF) launched its New York City Climate Action Tracker, which will monitor the climate goals set by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s OneNYC plan.
Released in 2015, OneNYC set out to make New York City the most resilient, equitable and sustainable city in the world by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. Four years later, the mayor committed the city to carbon neutrality as well.
Julie Tighe, president of NYLCVEF, said in a statement that despite establishing clean objectives, those goals still require meaningful action.
“Transparency, technology and data have enabled the advocacy community to hold elected officials accountable on key initiatives,” she said, “and it is clear that swift and meaningful action must be taken to meet OneNYC’s goals in the fight against climate change.”
The climate action tracker indicates some progress. The city is on track to meet its goal of 85 percent of New Yorkers living within walking distance of a park. The bike network in the city is also expanding.
But according to the group, greenhouse gas emissions have decreased only 17 percent since 2005, and only three percent since de Blasio took office in 2014.
The city has seen only a 9.8 percent reduction in waste collected between 2005 and 2019. Due to budget cuts this year, the city has stopped the food waste collection program.
The tracker will also monitor the de Blasio administration’s actions on other initiatives to reduce emissions, including creating 200 new miles of bike lanes, securing 100 megawatts of renewable energy for city buildings and reducing the disparity of particulate matter across city neighborhoods 20 percent.
Tighe said the city needs more renewable energy capacity, better access to parks and less waste.
“We look forward to working with city leaders to accomplish the laudable goals they established,” she said, “and will continue tracking key metrics to hold them accountable.”