The city's economic reality flipped 180 degrees. The budget deficit reached $4 billion. Bloomberg's climate plan would suffer, but only briefly.

Katherine Bagley and Maria Gallucci

Global warming experts around the world say New York City's plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard itself from the perils of climate change are a model for other cities. But most Americans, including New Yorkers, know little or nothing about this achievement, or that it was driven by Michael Bloomberg, who next month ends his third term as New York's mayor. Bloomberg's Hidden Legacy: Climate Change and the Future of New York City helps fill that gap.

It is being published in five installments on our website (read Part 1 and Part 2), but we encourage our readers to download our ICN Books App and purchase a full copy of the e-book. The ICN Books version is enhanced with video, audio and other extras, and 70 percent of the purchase price comes back to us to support our ongoing work.

Chapter Five: Accept it, Move On

The Plan Presses On

In his speech in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2008, Bloomberg didn't hide his bitterness over his loss in Albany. Legislators "didn't even have the courage to vote on it—they just killed it in a back room. That's not leadership," he said.

Congestion pricing was important, he added, "but let me make something crystal clear this morning. The other 126 initiatives are important, too, many of which … require no approval by any other level or branch of government."

The mayor's sustainability team moved a little more slowly over the next couple months, exhausted and drained by the loss of one of their most ambitious projects. They had launched many smaller initiatives during the congestion-pricing fight. Now, with just 18 months remaining in Bloomberg's second term, they had to rally again and get more initiatives into place to preserve their environmental agenda under future mayors.

In the Bullpen, digital countdown clocks bore the message "Make Every Day Count" and flashed red numbers reminding them of their deadline.

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