New York City has committed to reducing its greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This ambitious goal requires a data-driven approach to track progress and assess climate and energy policy. Pursuant to Local Law 22 of 2008, the City is required to compile and publish an annual greenhouse-gas inventory illustrating the source of emissions, sector-by-sector reductions, and opportunities for further improvements. To assist in this mandate and ensure data transparency, the Civic Analytics team partnered with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability to create a public-facing, interactive GHG reporting tool. The tool builds on the Civic Analytics team’s Energy and Water Performance Map, which provides detailed building-by-building data on energy, water, and GHG emissions from NYC’s buildings.
In January 2022, the City published the greenhouse gas inventory for 2020, where the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are evident. In 2020, all-source emissions were equivalent to 48.4 million tons of CO2, the lowest level since 2005, representing a 25.1% reduction over this time. The City also saw its highest year-to-year reduction in both greenhouse gas emissions and total energy consumption with decreases of 11.7% and 20.4%, respectively. As expected, the transportation sector reported a 21.2% reduction in emissions, largely a result of changing commute patterns and mobility behaviors. The largest source of emissions in the City – its buildings – achieved a sector-wide reduction of 8.3%. Although much of this reduction was driven by a 10.8% in emissions from commercial buildings (likely the result of increasing work-from-home activities during 2020), residential buildings also experienced a 5.9% decrease. It is important to note the greening efforts of the NYC municipal sector, which reduced its carbon footprint by more than 27.2% as compared to the base year of 2005 and 5.4% on an annual basis.
The Civic Analtyics program welomes collaborations with other cities on the GHG inventory reporting tool or the Energy and Water Performance Map. Please contact the Civic Analytics team at UrbanIntelLab@nyu.edu.