City hosts online public information sessions on Mayor Adams’ carbon neutrality initiative

The city installed this rooftop solar panel array on Q258, the Energy Tech High School in Dutch Kills. (Courtesy of DCP)

The Department of City Planning Director Dan Garodnik announced two virtual public information sessions on Mayor Eric Adams’ City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality initiative to create a greener city are set for the evenings of March 20 and March 28. The online public forums will share the city’s proposal to modernize zoning to support climate goals of reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

“With the world facing a climate emergency, New Yorkers can make a difference by updating our zoning codes to address 21st-century challenges and help green our buildings, our streets, and our city,” Garodnick said.

Queens Councilman James Gennaro — the chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, Resiliency & Waterfronts — urges New Yorkers to attend one of the sessions to learn more about the initiative.

“As a global leader in business and culture, New York City has the power to inspire change and pave the way for a cleaner, brighter future,” Gennaro said. “By taking bold and decisive action to reduce our carbon footprint, we can protect our communities, preserve our natural resources, and build a more sustainable world for generations to come.”

City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality – which is set to enter a public review on April 24, the Monday after Earth Day – is designed to help New York City to meet its ambitious goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and do its part to meet the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016’s goal of limiting global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius. While the City has some of the strongest laws in the nation to reduce emissions and a stringent energy code to help us go green, outdated zoning rules remain an obstacle to energy-efficient technologies that will help to achieve these goals, according to City Planning.

“Queens knows all too well the destructive impacts of climate change and our society’s reliance on fossil fuels. But it’s not too late to turn our shared pain into progress and realize our potential to be a clean energy leader,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “I encourage all our neighbors to participate in these public information sessions and make your opinions known. Together, we can ensure the city we pass down to future generations is not only a livable one but a thriving and resilient one as well.”

Among the changes the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality initiative is proposing include a plan for a renewable energy grid, the creation of cleaner and more efficient buildings and support for electric vehicles and micro-mobility.

“The Department of City Planning’s proposed City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality zoning amendment is critical to removing impediments to installing energy-efficient technologies that are essential to cutting emissions and meeting New York City’s and the State’s climate goals,” New York League of Conservation Voters Deputy Director of New York City Policy Alia Soomro said. “We encourage all New Yorkers to attend DCP’s upcoming information sessions so they get up to speed on this important initiative as it makes its way through the public review process this year.”

For more information and to participate in the public information sessions visit here. The two other City of Yes proposals focus on economic activity and housing opportunities.