APNewsBreak: Mayor de Blasio to create new agency, name NYC's first sustainability officer

Associated Press

Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to take another step toward achieving his lofty goal of making the nation's largest city its greenest.

De Blasio on Wednesday will announce the creation of a new agency, the Office of Sustainability. He will name Nilda Mesa its first director.

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Administration officials told The Associated Press about the new agency before de Blasio's public announcement later Wednesday.

Mesa held several environment-related posts with President Bill Clinton's administration and spearheaded the sustainability program at Columbia University.

Her chief task will be to work toward de Blasio's goal of having New York City cut its greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 from its 2005 levels.

The city will pay to retrofit government buildings and offer incentives to private building owners.

Mesa said she believes the impact of Superstorm Sandy will make New Yorkers more receptive to the changes.