All About NYC's Historic Building Emissions Law

UPDATE: On June 26, City Council passed “technical amendments” to the building emissions law. Among minor corrections, four changes stand out: clarification that DOB can revise 2030 standards by rule, including using a different metric; carbon emissions from electricity can now be based on time of use; credits for GHG offsets and energy storage will extend to later compliance periods; and some previously exempt affordable housing must now comply with the prescriptive path of low-cost energy savings measures.

On May 18, the City of New York enacted Local Law 97 of 2019—the most ambitious climate legislation for buildings enacted by any city in the world. The new law places buildings on a path to meet the city’s goal to reduce overall carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. Buildings represent nearly 70 percent of those emissions.

When Urban Green convened the 80x50 Buildings Partnership in 2017 to draft the Blueprint for Efficiency, we knew we needed an ambitious yet actionable plan. We’re pleased that many Blueprint elements are reflected in the new law, including more feasible timelines, a green power purchase option, a provision for carbon trading between buildings, and future refinement through an advisory board process.

Passage of the new legislation—which affects 50,000 existing residential and commercial buildings—is just the first step towards full implementation. Check this page regularly or sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on this groundbreaking legislation.

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Urban Green will continue to provide the resources you need. Our cutting-edge training programs, GPRO and Conquer the Energy Code, teach tradespeople and building professionals how to design and maintain high-performance buildings. And we’ll drive the conversation on leading research and policy, like advancing electrification and efficiency trading.

Read coverage of the law in the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, ForbesInside Climate News, and the Wall Street Journal. View the complete list of LL97 coverage featuring Urban Green here.



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