After a decade of implementation, the Empire State's ambitious retrofit hit a major milestone last year, reducing its carbon emissions by more than 50 percent. By 2030, the goal is to be carbon neutral, said Dana Schneider, the director of energy and sustainability at the Empire State Realty Trust, in a news release.
“The big picture here is there’s no question that COVID-19 has changed how and where we use energy in New York City,” says Urban Green CEO John Mandyck. “For example, many multifamily homes became mixed-use, where people lived and worked. We don’t know if this is a trend or a blip. We need to continue to collect data.”
A lot of the changes needed to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees have to occur at a huge, international level. But nearly a fifth of carbon emissions in the U.S. come from our homes. Are there things we can do at home to help the climate crisis? And how effective are individual actions?
“If we snowplow this into 2028, there won’t be enough labor, and the building department will be under siege with permitting,” Urban Green Council CEO John Mandyck said. “It’s to people’s advantage to really plan this out.”
In the late 1990s, the New York City public housing authority, NYCHA, challenged manufacturers to design a new energy-efficient refrigerator. While suburban homeowners had their pick of energy-saving fridges, no one was selling an efficient model that was small enough for a typical urban apartment.