Global Climate Efficiency Trading Initiative

The Global Climate Efficiency Trading Initiative is a collaboration between New York City’s leading building and energy stakeholders, the trading community, and global peer cities. Together, New York, Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Toronto are creating a policy menu for trading building energy efficiency or carbon within cities.

This innovative program was recommended by Urban Green in our Blueprint for Efficiency, and is now part of NYC’s groundbreaking building emissions law (Local Law 97). Based on our convenings, Urban Green will release a report in the second quarter of 2020 to help inform New York City’s study of carbon trading. That report will then anchor the five-city global dialogue to follow.

While the common terminology is “carbon trading,” we use the broader name “climate efficiency trading” because it encompasses the potential for trading credit for energy efficiency and not just a pollutant like carbon.

Climate efficiency trading can reduce carbon emissions with a mandatory or voluntary cap. Buildings that lower their emissions below the cap are able to trade those energy efficiency or carbon savings with buildings that are unable to meet the cap.

In 2019, Urban Green Council began convening experts to develop parameters that will inform a NYC program. We’ve identified key program design questions and are assessing potential policy approaches. We’re guided by a Global Advisory Board of political leaders, renowned experts and peer cities, and assisted by a Trading Committee.

In 2020, the NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability tapped Urban Green to convene a group of stakeholders to support the carbon trading study required by Local Law 97. The study, led by NYU and due early next year, will assess the feasibility and implementation of carbon trading as a compliance path for the law’s building emissions limits.

At the end of 2020, our NYC policy menu will be evaluated and refined by the green building councils representing Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Toronto. Each city will convene their own experts to evaluate trading feasibility and considerations.

To learn more, read the Wired article about the initiative, our CEO John Mandyck's blog post, and our press release. If you have questions, comments or would like more information, please email


Global Advisory Board 

Rit Aggarwala, Sidewalk Labs
John Alker, UK Green Building Council
Dr. Joseph Allen, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Cary Chan, Hong Kong Green Building Council
Council Member Costa Constantinides, New York City Council
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., New York City Council
Janet Joseph, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
David Miller, former Mayor of Toronto, C40 Climate Leadership Group
Thomas Mueller, Canada Green Building Council
Yvonne Soh, Singapore Green Building Council

Climate Efficiency Trading Committee

Edward Amador, Office of Council Member Cornegy, New York City Council
Ronnie Black, Marex Spectron
Austen Brandford, Committee on Housing and Buildings, New York City Council
Dickson C. Chin, Jones Day
Cecil Corbin-Mark, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Donna De Costanzo, Natural Resources Defense Council
Adriana Espinoza, New York League of Conservation Voters
Adam Freed, Bloomberg Associates
Carl Hum, Real Estate Board of New York
Dr. Noah Kaufman, SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University
Laurie Kerr, LK POLICY LAB
Andrew McKeon, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. (RGGI)
Yuko Nishida, Renewable Energy Institute (formerly Tokyo Cap-and-Trade program)
Frank Ricci, Rent Stabilization Association
Alec Saltikoff, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Maritza Silva-Farrell, ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York
Danielle Spiegel-Feld, Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy & Land Use Law, New York University School of Law
Amy Sugimori, 32BJ SEIU
Nicholas Widzowski, Office of Council Member Constantinides, New York City Council
Dr. Peter Wilcoxen, Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs