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New Bill Seeks to Cut Emissions by Big Buildings

New York City

Building Emissions
Nov. 26, 2018

Buildings are the biggest polluters in New York City, accounting for about 70 percent of all carbon emissions. A new bill coming before the city council this week would compel larger buildings to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by the year 2030, Crain’s reports

The bill, sponsored by Costa Constantinides, a Queens Democrat, is intended to boost Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 80X50 pledge – to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 80 percent by the year 2050. The bill has its origins in the Blueprint for Efficiency put together earlier this year by the nonprofit Urban Green Council, the result of conversations among more than 70 leaders from the real estate, labor, energy efficiency, nonprofit, and government sectors. The Blueprint for Efficiency contains 21 recommendations which, in the words of its authors, provide “a practical policy framework to reduce emissions in large buildings by 2030.”

New mandates for building owners have been scrutinized closely by landlord and developer groups, including the Real Estate Board of New York, and owners are sure to testify at a hearing scheduled for early December. A strong coalition present at the unveiling of Constantinides’s legislation indicates that the bill is likely to pass in some form. Speaker Corey Johnson supports the initiative, as do several environmental groups. If the bill becomes law, co-op and condo boards in large buildings will be faced with sizable challenges as well as opportunities to make New York City a greener and cleaner place.

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