New York City Mayor's Office of Sustainability
At a Glance
Data Analysis, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
New York, NY
Harleen Srivastava helped the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability quantify its emissions from aviation, maritime shipping and embodied carbon.
The New York City Office of Sustainability is a team of policy advisors, city planners, data scientists and engineers creating a greener city for 8.5 million residents. NYC Office of Sustainability is guided by the 80x50 report to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050. The NYC Office of Sustainability, enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Harleen Srivastava to help quantify emissions from aviation and maritime shipping to the New York City region in addition to embodied carbon in the NYC buildings. Focusing on these two areas of emissions is essential to understand how the City can achieve the 80x50 goal. Srivastava helped quantify the emissions for the City’s annual report and proposed policy recommendations to reduce Citywide GHG emissions.
To develop an implementation plan, Srivastava researched maritime and aviation emissions, US port emissions data and interviewed various stakeholders from related agencies. She determined that the data required for calculating emissions output can be procured through the Mayor’s office. She reached out to C40 cities to get the account of these emissions for the New York City, should the Mayor's office need estimate on the consumption-based emissions using the top-down approach. The data collection was complex and required special automatic identification systems for data retrieval. Moreover, there was no standard methodology to calculate emissions from aircraft and marine vessels.
Turning her attention to consumption-based approaches to quantify City emissions Srivastava researched tools and resources needed to complete the calculations. To calculate the embodied carbon, Harleen identified available building codes, standards, and tools the City could utilize. Srivastavai interviewed other interested cities and institutions to identify NYC building permits that could determine embodied carbon in building materials to quantify the impact on the City’s GHG emissions.
Harleen's projects can help NYC quantify emissions from all marine vessels and aircrafts arriving and departing the City. This data would help the City better understand the impact of marine and air trade on the City’s emissions and could be included in the annual GHG emissions inventory. Harleen’s work on the consumption-based approach to evaluating emissions could enhance a business case for low-carbon investment (including drive towards recycling and re-use). Her work on embodied carbon helped demonstrate the value of embodied carbon in the building and construction sector which is an essential piece to achieving NYC’s 80X50 goal.