Bill announced to reduce building emissions by 2030
Councilman Costa Constantinides and Speaker Corey Johnson announced legislation to reduce greenhouse emissions from large buildings by 40 percent by 2030.
The bill would require buildings 25,000 square feet or larger to meet new standards on reducing greenhouse emissions by installing new energy-efficient technology as well as meet new operating procedures.
Buildings under this criteria currently account for 30 percent of emissions.
“Climate change is no longer the looming threat of tomorrow — it is a clear and present danger today,” said Constantinides in a statement.
The proposal will focus on buildings that emit the most carbon first, with better-performing properties complying with standards later in the decade.
An Office of Building Energy Performance will also be set up under the Department of Buildings, which will oversee compliance as well as strategize how to meet goals for 2040 and 2050.
The legislation also recognizes the threats to rent-regulated buildings, where loopholes sometimes allow improvement costs to be passed on to tenants.
Properties 25,000 square feet or larger in this category would instead have to meet the retrocomissioning rules under Local 87, which currently only impact structures 50,000 square feet or larger.
“The time to fight climate change is now,” said Johnson. “Because the current federal administration vehemently denies that climate change is real, it is up to us to lead the way to protect our environment.”