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Following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order committing New York City to the pact’s climate goals. Now, two City Council members are calling on the mayor to take concrete action by requiring energy efficiency retrofits of the city’s largest buildings.

“Without stronger energy efficiency standards for buildings – which account for 75 percent of New York City's total emissions – we will fail to meet our urgent goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050,” City Councilman Brad Lander said. “We must not allow the madman in the White House to throw away our planet's future. The time for bold action is now.”

City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who applauded de Blasio’s Paris Agreement pledge, called for mandatory “energy efficiency standards for all of the city’s buildings, whether residential or commercial.” He added, “It’s one of the immediate ways New York City can really lead on this issue and truly resist.”

Maritza Silva-Farrell, the executive director of ALIGN, also argued that the move would create “thousands of good-paying jobs each year.” A recent report by Silva-Farrell’s group targeting properties owned by Trump and others concluded that energy efficiency is inconsistent in many buildings.

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