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.


Carbon trading isn’t a new idea, but as a city-level policy tool for efficiency in buildings, it’s a revolutionary concept. Trading can reduce carbon emissions with a mandatory or voluntary cap. Buildings that lower their emissions below the cap are able to trade those carbon savings with buildings that are unable to meet the cap. This allows buildings to unlock the best cost-effective carbon savings.

While the common terminology is “carbon trading,” we also 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.


As a result of Urban Green’s advocacy, NYC’s groundbreaking building emissions law (Local Law 97) requires that the city study and develop an implementation plan for carbon trading between buildings. To help inform this study and provide insights for any city looking to adopt this revolutionary tool, Urban Green released Trading: A New Climate Solution for Buildings

This new report outlines 11 key program design questions and 59 policy options that show how trading can unlock energy retrofits, deliver carbon savings, and drive energy efficiency investments to buildings in environmental justice areas. The result of nine months of convenings with our Trading Committee, key NYC stakeholders, renowned experts and our Global Advisory Board, this report is a critical first step in a longer policy development process.


Based on our efforts, the NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability tapped Urban Green to convene a group of stakeholders to review and provide feedback on their carbon trading study. The final study, led by NYU and released in November 2021, assessed the feasibility and implementation of carbon trading as a compliance path for Local Law 97’s building emissions limits.


Without an urgent global response to tackle building emissions, climate change will still devastate communities. Our best response is to share new ideas that work in NYC that can be scaled globally to accelerate solutions to climate change. We’ll work with green building councils representing Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Toronto to share findings from the report and co-convene experts in those cities to evaluate trading feasibility.

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 

Rohit T. 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, former New York City Council Legislative Staff Member
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, formerly 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, FAIA, 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