New York released details of its carbon inventory Friday, and its emissions were just under one percent of the nation's, with about 2.7 percent of the national population of 300 million. That means the city emits only about one-third as much as the rest of the nation does on average, mostly because of its strong city and metro region public transit.
The Big Apple's mixed-use zoning, allowing businesses and residents and retail to occupy the same neighborhoods, also contributed to its low-carbon output, as people have no-carbon options besides public transit--you can actually walk or bike to get things done and to go punch the clock.
The new office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability (what an awesome moniker!) was the agency behind the inventory, and the city worked in conjunction with the organization Local Governments for Sustainability, or ICLEI, in what was described by Mayor Bloomberg as, "the most detailed inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in US history."
I might beg to differ considering the detailed greenhouse gas inventories Seattle and San Francisco have undertaken in the recent past, but it's surely the largest in US history because of the sheer size of NYC.
The inventory will serve as a benchmark for the 30 percent carbon emissions reduction goal by 2030 that Bloomberg announced in December.
Buildings produced 79 percent of the carbon emissions, which underscores the importance of green building measures in combatting global climate change.