Many New York City co-op and condo boards are feeling high anxiety over caps on their buildings' carbon emissions, which go into effect beginning next year under Local Law 97. That anxiety led to a new bill before the city council, introduced by Vicki Paladino (R-Queens), that seeks to push fines for violators of the caps back by seven years. Meanwhile, a lawsuit seeking to overturn Local Law 97, led by the Presidents Co-op and Condo Council, is wending its way through the courts.
Despite this anxiety and the resulting pushback, Crain's reports that the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV), an environmental advocacy group, has released its annual scorecard that says the city council had a lackluster year in 2022 for pushing forward climate-friendly legislation to reduce carbon emissions and protect the city’s natural spaces.
The scorecard states: "In 2022, a disappointing 27% of our scorecard bills were passed by the city council, which is down from last year's 62% pass rate. Out of the 15 bills on the scorecard, the four that passed addressed issues pertaining to park equity, open space, transportation, and plastic waste. Unfortunately, the council did not pass the bills that remained on the table from our 2021 scorecard, which included a bill concerning notice requirements for certain transportation projects and a bill expanding EV charging infrastructure in parking garages."
In 2022 several bills that would move the city closer to its green goals were left in legislative limbo. Last year’s session was a departure from previous landmark years, including 2019 when the council passed Local Law 97, an ambitious climate measure to drastically reduce carbon emission from nearly 50,000 properties across the city beginning in 2024.
“It is time for the council to take their foot off the brake and start treating the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves,” NYLCV President Julie Tighe said, adding that the scorecard should be treated as a resource to inform voters in future council races.
The NYLCV urged City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams to prioritize green legislation and called the first year of the council's leadership a missed opportunity.
“The citywide average score is also a reflection on the speaker,” the scorecard says, “and after a year in which fewer bills were passed, it is clear that a course correction is needed in order for the city to meet its climate goals.”
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