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Google and other huge companies pledge 30 percent emissions cuts in New York City

Google and other huge companies pledge 30 percent emissions cuts in New York City

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg just announced a huge boost to his long-term plan to green the Big Apple, securing pledges from 10 major companies, including Google and airliner JetBlue, to cut the emissions from their New York City office spaces by at least 30 percent within 10 years. "I want to applaud the commitment of the 10 companies making the Carbon Challenge pledge, as well as the universities and hospitals that have already taken steps to become more efficient," Bloomberg said in a statement published online this morning, adding, "their leadership on this issue is not only going to move our city toward a more sustainable future; we also hope it will inspire others to follow suit."

"move our city toward a more sustainable future."

Google pointed out in a statement that it's already been working hard to reduce its own dependence on fossil fuels through its own various internal "Google Green" efforts, but said it hopes that by joining with this New York challenge, it will serve as an example for others to follow suit. As chief information officer Ben Fried put it: "through our participation in the NYC Mayor's Carbon Challenge, we hope to inspire companies of all shapes and sizes to take innovative approaches to reduce their own environmental footprint."

The full list of the 10 new companies taking the Mayor's Carbon Challenge pledge today are all huge names in their respective industries. Besides Google and JetBlue, the other eight are: insurance giant AIG, investment firm BlackRock, media company Bloomberg LP (started by Bloomberg himself), Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and apparel giant Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH), owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. The pledge to reduce office space emissions extends to all these companies offices in the New York City area, including leased office spaces.

The companies join another 17 universities and 11 hospitals in New York that previously took the pledge, four of which have already met their goals, as the mayor's office noted. Some of Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to improve New York have been especially controversial — an attempted ban on large soda sizes comes to mind. But this latest voluntary effort to reduce emissions from the private sector seems hard to argue against.