Changing Planet

Mayor Bloomberg talks electric vehicles, tackles food waste in his final “State of the City” address

In his 12th and final State of the City address, C40 Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg continued to steer the city towards a more sustainable future, introducing plans to ban Styrofoam food packaging, increase the use of electric vehicles, and create more green space.

The Chair laid out plans to expand recycling initiatives, which include placing 1,000 new recycling containers on streets in all five New York City boroughs this year and finalizing a major new facility in South Brooklyn that will accept all types of plastics. Initiatives like these, he stated, will help reach an important sustainability goal: doubling the city’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017.

Mayor Bloomberg also intends to work with the City Council to “tackle New York City’s final recycling frontier: food waste,” nearly 200,000 tons of which fills landfills every year at a cost of nearly $80 per ton. “We will work to adopt a law banning Styrofoam food packaging from our stores and restaurants.”

In the near future NYC could see more electric vehicles — and curbside vehicle chargers — on its roads. The Mayor discussed plans to add 50 more electric vehicles to the city’s fleet of cars and place the first six fully electric taxis on the road — with the goal of making one-third of the City’s fleet electric by 2020.

Even though substantial progress has been made over his past 11 years in office, including gains in the economy, education and the environment, Mayor Bloomberg acknowledged that his work is far from over.

“We have unfinished business — and only 320 days to complete it,” he said during the address at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on February 14. “As the countdown clock in City Hall says: we are going to Make Every Day Count. Our goal is not to spend the year cutting ribbons. It’s much bigger than that: Our goal is to advance projects — and start new ones — that will keep our city on the right course for decades to come. That’s why 2013 will be our busiest — and most important — year yet.”

Full text of the Mayor’s State of the City Address can be found here.

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Recognizing that cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, our organization’s global field staff works with city governments, supported by our technical experts across a range of program areas to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. The Steering Committee includes: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tokyo.

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