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Why New York City Is Reporting Its Sustainability Progress to the UN

So far, it’s the only city in the world to publish a review of its progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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Amr Alfiky/Reuters

On Wednesday, New York City became the first city in the world to report to the United Nations on its progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The move is part of a larger trend of U.S. cities pursuing environmental progress amid inaction from the federal government, and of New York, in particular, taking an ambitious course on climate policy. The city pledged in 2014 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, and Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an order last year committing to the Paris accord goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The voluntary review describes the city’s progress toward the five SDGs the UN prioritized this year: clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; and protecting land.