32BJ praises de Blasio for Green New Deal

Stephon Johnson | 4/25/2019, 9:58 a.m.

This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City’s Green New Deal to attack global warming which includes $14 billion in new investments and legislation by the city. The goal is to reduce emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.

De Blasio believes the deal will help to battle income inequality, expand renewable energy and generate jobs.

“Every day we wait is a day our planet gets closer to the point of no-return. New York City’s Green New Deal meets that reality head on,” stated de Blasio. “We are confronting the same interests that created the climate crisis and deepened inequality. There’s no time to waste. We’re taking action now, before it’s too late.”

32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa thanked the mayor for this action and believes that his constituents will benefit.

“We congratulate the City Council for passing the most ambitious green buildings legislation in the country,” said Figueroa in a statement. “Climate change is real. With 70 percent of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from buildings, our union is clear that building service workers are on the frontlines of this important fight to save our planet and we are ready to do what is required to make the change that is needed.”

According to the city, when combined with de Blasio’s previous actions, the Green New Deal will lead to a nearly 30 percent reduction in emissions citywide. When combined with actions taken during Michael Bloomberg’s administration, the city’s on track to achieve a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 from a 2005 baseline.

As part of New York City’s new green deal, the city would require all existing buildings of 25,000 square feet or more to make efficiency upgrades that lower energy usage or face penalties. The city would also end purchases of single-use plastic foodware, phase out the purchase of processed meat and reduce the purchase of beef by 50 percent to reduce carbon footprint.

“So often it has been that when we build, we kill,” said New York City Council Member Andy King in a statement. “I’m excited that we in city government have found direction to correct a vision of the past and move forward with a vision of sustainability and set benchmarks to save our planet. I applaud the mayor and anyone in government who stood tall to make these regulatory changes.”

Much of the city’s Green New Deal is a part of the “ONENYC 2050: Building a Strong and Fair City” plan to battle climate change and economic inequality. Figueroa hopes the de Blasio administration comes through on their ambitions.

“32BJ will continue to help New York City reach the ambitious goals set forth by Intro 1253,” stated Figueroa. “We are committed to sharing what we learn throughout the implementation of the bill and will continue to share what we have learned over the last two decades of our Green Super’s Program, which works to turn New York’s residential builds green and more energy efficient.”