Yesterday, the City Council passed legislation "to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing government, commercial, and residential buildings." Mayor Bloomberg praised the Council's work and said, "By requiring buildings to conduct energy audits and improve their energy efficiency, the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan will reduce the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions while creating thousands of jobs and dramatically reducing annual energy costs. I thank Speaker Quinn and the members of the City Council for their efforts to make New York a greener, more sustainable city.”

The Daily News points out, "The laws approved by the City Council stopped short of what the mayor promised but still put the Big Apple ahead of the nation on green buildings, eco-friendly groups said." One of the four laws "requires large commercial buildings (over 50,000 square feet) to upgrade their lighting and sub-meter tenant spaces over 10,000 square feet," (which some critics call costly during the recession) while another "requires large buildings owners to make an annual benchmark analysis of energy consumption so that owners, tenants, and potential tenants can compare buildings’ energy consumption."

Bloomberg wants to reduce NYC's greenhouse gas emission by 30% by 2030; according to the city, "Approximately 80 percent of New York City’s carbon footprint comes from buildings’ energy use, and 85 percent of the buildings that exist today will be in use in 2030." This legislation will help reduce emissions by 4.75%.