New York mayor announces plans to make city green

Published: Friday 15 June 2007

-- (Credit: J OLSON)new York City is set to go green. Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced his ambitious "planyc-2030" for a "greener and greater" New York.

The following are the highpoints of the plan

Down to Earth Reduce 30 per cent greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

Down to Earth Plant 1 million trees in next decade

Down to Earth Charge trucks us $21 and cars us $8 to drive into Manhattan

Down to Earth New constructions to be 20 per cent more energy efficient than the current energy code

Down to Earth Waiving sales tax on purchases of fuel-efficient cars

Down to Earth Rebate programmes to encourage installment of efficient toilets, urinals and washing machines

Down to Earth Clean up contaminated former industrial sites for housing and other uses

Down to Earth Offer wide-ranging incentives for efficiency upgrades in existing buildings, like property tax rebates for the installation of solar panels

Down to Earth Retiring the city's most inefficient power plants and updating some with cleaner technology

The timing of the plan, is, however, being regarded with suspicion. Local news reports are abuzz with speculation of Bloomberg running as an independent candidate for presidential elections in 2008. It is being reported that the plan is part of a larger agenda, which might come in handy, once Bloomberg decides to run for the president.

This speculation aside, the proposal to charge motorists for driving in parts of Manhattan has drawn criticism. Manhattan is the commercial centre of New York City (nyc).

According to officials, controlling traffic here will definitely improve the air quality and lessen congestion. They say a congestion tax will encourage people to use more public transport and keep cars and trucks from unnecessarily entering the main part of the city. But some feel that this proposal will divide nyc geographically, besides creating a class conflict. A select few will be able to pay any amount to enter nyc whereas for most people, it will be an added financial burden with no choice, says Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner.

The plan also talks of tackling climate change. Bloomberg plans to cut down on emissions through measures such as switching to clean and alternate power production, better fuel efficiency and promotion of hybrid cars, making buildings more energy efficient and controlling vehicular emissions.

"Climate change is a national challenge, and meeting it requires strong and united national leadership. The fact is, to avoid serious harm, we must reduce our emissions by 60 to 80 per cent by 2050. That means we cannot, and we will not, wait for Washington. The time to act is now," Bloomberg said.

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