NYLCVEF understands the power that our elected officials have in the fight against climate change. Holding these decision makers accountable to their promises on environmental issues is one of our top priorities.
That’s why we created the New York City Climate Action Tracker: a resource for voters, elected officials, and candidates for office to understand if the city is living up to its OneNYC climate goals, and to elevate this as a top campaign issue in the 2021 municipal elections and beyond.
The NYC Climate Action Tracker follows a selection of indicators and initiatives from the original OneNYC plan, which was published in 2015. The city released an updated plan in 2019 titled OneNYC 2050 along with a new list of indicators.
We chose indicators and initiatives from the 2015 plan that are:
• Specific and measurable.
• Connected to publicly accessible progress reports.
• Representative of multiple sectors and can have considerable impact on NYC’s GHG emissions reductions.
• Set to be completed in a relatively short time frame, meaning that Mayor de Blasio’s administration is primarily responsible for meeting the objective or setting up the city to achieve it.
We found that several original OneNYC indicators do not have benchmarks or target dates, and there are indicators that have been changed or eliminated completely in the new plan. Without consistent, trackable goals, it is nearly impossible to hold our city leaders accountable. Shifting objectives can also undermine NYC’s goal to become the most resilient, sustainable, and equitable city in the world. These challenges highlight the importance of monitoring and publicizing the city’s goals, how they have changed over time, and if they are being met.