Mayor Bloomberg has abandoned the most ambitious part of his plan to reduce greenhouse gases, which would have required the owners of the city's largest buildings to undergo mandatory energy audits to determine green renovations — and forced the landlords to pay for the improvements.

Bloomberg backed away from the proposal amidst complaints from owners of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet who would have been mandated to pay for the audits as well as any energy efficient renovations "for which the cost could be recouped through declines in energy bills within five years," according to the Times. “It’s another unfunded mandate, and this is just not the time for it,” said opponent Stuart Saft, chairman of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums. “Come back in five years when we’re past this recession. At this point it’s just a slap in the face.”

The much-hyped plan would have impacted about 22,000 buildings, accounting for nearly half the city's square footage while creating an estimated 19,000 new construction jobs. Though without the mandatory repairs, the plan is not as bold, Bloomberg says it's still a strong proposal. The package of legislation, which is expected to go before City Council this week, will still require building owners to pay for mandatory energy audits, but subsequent renovations would be voluntary. The plan also calls for creating the city's first energy code in buildings, and establishing a rule that would require tenants in large buildings to be made aware their individual energy usage, potentially lowering consumption.