January 8, 2020 by Christopher Rizzo
Immediately in 2020, New York City will be taking steps to implement Local Law 97 of 2019, the Climate Mobilization Act. The law made changes to the New York City Charter and Administrative Code to create an office of building energy and emissions performance at the Department of Buildings. And it imposes specific greenhouse gas emission limits on most buildings of 25,000 square feet or more (covering residential, commercial and industrial properties alike) to affect a 40% reduction in citywide emissions by 2030 and 80% reduction by 2050. For a detailed discussion of the law’s requirements, compliance options for buildings and exemptions see the firm’s article on the subject. The first compliance year is 2024, leaving owners with four years to calculate emissions, plan for major upgrades to energy and HVAC systems, and improve energy efficiency.
Although the basic tenet of the law—the greenhouse gas emission limit—is set by the law and self-implementing, various aspects of the law require further regulation. To advise on those actions and regulations, the law requires the Mayor’s office to create an advisory board. On December 20, 2019, the Mayor’s office announced that the board will include two public sector members (City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and DOB Commissioner Melanie La Rocca) as well as various architects, housing and environmental advocates, union leaders and one representative of Con Edison. Since the board itself does not have more than a few key energy experts, presumably it will need substantial outside assistance to develop the two detailed reports due on January 1, 2023, on further steps, regulations and incentives to achieve the required 80% reduction in citywide emissions from 2005 levels.
Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP will continue to update its clients on the City’s implementation of Local Law 97 as well as the State’s implementation of its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires various agencies to take regulatory action to reduce statewide emissions 85% of 1990 levels by 2050.
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For more information concerning the matters discussed in this publication, please contact the author Christopher Rizzo (212-238-8677, firstname.lastname@example.org), or your regular Carter Ledyard attorney.