OneNYC 2050 : Volume 7 of 9 : A Livable Climate

Create economic opportunities for all New Yorkers through climate action

New York City is already well-positioned to be a leader in the green economy, in which sustainability, resiliency, and climate action drive job creation and economic growth. To capture this opportunity, we will invest in industries and businesses that have a positive impact on the environment, while improving quality of life and promoting equity. We will leverage our educational system and workforce programs to create accessible, good-paying green jobs and prepare New Yorkers of all ages to fill them. And we will harness technology to advance our climate actions and invest our financial resources into innovative climate solutions of the future. This work is already underway in New York City, and demonstrates what the ideals of the Green New Deal look like in practice.
Grow The Green Economy With Good-Paying Jobs And A Skilled Workforce

New York City is addressing climate change head-on. Our actions to transform our energy system with large-scale renewable energy development, retrofit our nearly 1 million buildings, invest more than $20 billion to guard against rising sea levels and increased extreme weather events, and protect New Yorkers from environmental hazards will not only address the climate crisis but also create thousands of good-paying jobs.

See Inclusive Economy for the City’s comprehensive strategy for diversifying the economy and broadening access to good-paying jobs. To facilitate growth of climate related sectors and create in-demand green jobs, the City will continue to:

  • Support the growth of businesses focused on responsible innovation
    New York City is already known as an incubator of responsible innovation, in which companies achieve financial success and also have a positive impact on communities and the environment. We will continue to provide the tools and resources needed to start, grow, and expand such businesses in the city, through programs like Urbantech NYC, which supports early and growth-stage companies by providing flexible and affordable workspace, prototyping resources, and tailored programming to commercialize and demonstrate new technology. Through these investments, the City is supporting companies that make our city more livable, sustainable, and resilient, while also creating good-paying jobs.
  • Prepare New Yorkers for meaningful work in the green economy through training programs and pathways to jobs
    New York City’s climate actions will create thousands of good-paying jobs in trades such as manufacturing, construction, landscaping, installation, and maintenance, to name a few. To ensure New Yorkers are prepared to capture these opportunities and that the jobs created are accessible, we will leverage the City’s youth and adult educational system — including Career and Technical Education Offerings — and workforce system — including industry-specific training, internship, and apprenticeship programs, such as the City’s Green Jobs Corps — to build a skilled local workforce. We will promote local hiring policies through City-funded contracts to create opportunities for good-paying jobs with career paths. And we will also leverage our job placement resources — such as our Workforce1 career centers — to provide pathways to these jobs.
Invest In A Carbon Neutral And Climate Resilient Future

The City will leverage our financial resources to invest in job-creating climate solutions, while also supporting the development and commercialization of innovative carbon neutral and climate resilient technologies of the future. Many technologies exist today to make cities more livable, sustainable, and resilient; however, they are not widely in use and may still need iteration to be faster, better, and cheaper. We will continue to coordinate with public and private partners to create market opportunities for emerging technology and innovation, while helping to remove the technical, financial, and regulatory barriers that limit scale.

  • Double the New York City pension funds’ investments in climate solutions
    New York City will change the paradigm for public pension plans and set a new standard for how such asset owners may use their investments to do well financially while also helping to save the planet. By the end of 2021, the City will double its investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate change solutions to $4 billion, thereby, reaching 2 percent of the $195 billion pension portfolio. And we will pursue opportunities to leverage New York City’s position as a financial capital to encourage public and private actors and financial institutions to join us and drive larger investments into climate solutions.
  • Create opportunities for technology and innovation in climate action
    The City will continue to invest in programs and new models that leverage the city as a platform for technology and innovation that supports the development and adoption of new technologies and solutions. These include programs such as NYCx Co-Labs and Moonshot Challenges, wherein the City, entrepreneurs, and communities partner to cocreate and demonstrate technologies that solve real urban challenges and improve the way we live; the Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability (IDEA) program that engages entrepreneurs to test new or underutilized energy technologies in City-owned buildings; and the RISE : NYC program that provides small businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy with innovative resiliency technologies to help them adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Energy Manager profile

Green jobs exist as part of the City’s own operations. Many of our Agencies employ Energy Managers—who are responsible for overseeing energy efficiency projects, conducting energy planning, developing carbon reduction strategies, and reducing energy usage and costs across City agencies.

Daniel Donovan, the 2017 Energy Manager of the Year, works for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Under his leadership, the agency reduced energy consumption for their entire building portfolio by 12 percent, lowered utility expenses by $5.5 million, reduced GHG emissions by 12 percent, and implemented energy efficiency projects at all scales. He also helped establish the City’s Henry Chang Learning Center for Mechanical Engineers — a resource that provides training, simulators, and equipment available for lending to City agencies — and serves as an adjunct professor at CUNY’s Building Performance Laboratory.