NYC mayor to building owners: get greener

- We live in a city with an ever-growing skyline, but that skyline could be our biggest problem when it comes to climate pollution, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"When we think about pollution, it's understandable we think about vehicles, but these buildings actually are the biggest problem that has not yet been addressed in this city," the mayor said Thursday.

De Blasio on Thursday announced a plan to force building owners to upgrade their boilers, water heaters, and roofs by 2030 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan would apply to all buildings over 25,000 square feet.

"These 14,500 buildings produce nearly one-quarter of the city's emissions," de Blasio said. "They're the target, we fix them, we fix the situation in this city profoundly."

Shortly after the mayor's announcement, some groups rallied in opposition to the plan. They told Fox 5 the plan is not aggressive enough to combat climate change and that it won't cut as much pollution or create as many jobs as it should.

"One of the things the mayor's proposal will do is it will raise rents for low-income tenants and we can't allow that," said Pete Sikora, a senior adviser at the nonprofit New York Communities for Change. "We cannot solve climate change on the backs of low-income tenants."

His group fears this proposal would lead landlords to charge tenants more in order to pay for the system upgrades. 

Many building owners don't know how they'll be able to afford the upgrades.

"It seems as though this current administration has placed the burden solely on property owners when there are plenty of other viable alternatives," JAM Real Estate Partners' Jared Pinchasick said in a statement. "Without some sort of financial incentive for making these types of improvements, it seems quite unreasonable."

De Blasio said the city will provide low-interest loans for building owners who don't have the money up front. He said he expects the plan to become legislation in the coming months.

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