New York’s critical decision

The beginning of James Wolfensohn’s (former Wold Bank president) article in today’s Comment is free on the greening of New York below. (Although he goes on to refer to this being a chance for New York to set a ‘blueprint’ for others, the decision is more a chance for New York to catch up…)

In the coming days, the United States will make a critical decision that has the potential to change America’s standing in the world: whether to approve a $537 million grant that will help make New York City the first environmentally sustainable megacity in the 21st century.

Officials at the US Department of Transportation must appreciate that their decision to fund mayor Michael Bloomberg’s visionary project, called PlaNYC, will determine the quality of air that more than 10 million New Yorkers breathe daily and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions the city coughs into the atmosphere.

Already, New York City produces more CO2 emissions than all of Norway. More importantly, officials must realise that their actions will shape America’s response to the global challenge of unparalleled urbanisation and carbon-induced climate change.

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