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Comptroller: NYC Failing to Be Role Model for Sustainability

Comptroller Scott Stringer says NYC needs to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration are at odds over a new report that says the Department of Citywide Administrative Services is failing to do its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this summer, the Comptroller’s office completed an audit that it says shows DCAS did not monitor emission reductions adequately in city-owned buildings. In addition to a failure to set goals, the report accuses DCAS of improper and inefficient data reporting and an incomplete plan for retrofitting city buildings.

“By failing to set and meet its own standards, or consistently track greenhouse gas reductions in city buildings, DCAS has become a poster child for ineffectiveness, rather than a role model for sustainability,” Comptroller Stringer said in a press statement. “Good data leads to good policy, and right now the City is far from achieving that standard.”

According to Politico, de Blasio’s camp balked.

In response, the city said that numerous city agencies are responsible for generating reports on their own emissions, setting benchmarks and retrofitting building stock, and that none of the information from those reports was accounted for in Stringer’s audit.

“The auditors’ findings exhibit a limited knowledge of [DCAS]‘s role within the larger context of the City’s overall greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies,” DCAS commissioner Stacey Cumberbatch said. “The failure to recognize the effort of other agencies in coordination with [DCAS] calls into question the auditors’ claims of ‘deficiencies’ in complying with these laws.”

Last fall, de Blasio announced that NYC would decrease its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Stringer’s office, noting the importance of climate-friendly infrastructure, has previously pushed the concept of green bonds to help the municipality pay for such projects.