NYC will be first city to mandate that existing buildings dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions

Signal of change / NYC will be first city to mandate that existing buildings dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions

By Anirudh Shah / 02 Nov 2017

Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, has mandated that existing buildings must make steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This makes New York the first city to place an emissions cap on existing buildings. The rules will apply to all buildings sizing over 25,000 square feet and the city will provide financing support through low-interest loans. The Mayor announced that there would fines for buildings which failed to comply with the regulations which could total up to $2 million per year for owners.

In order to stay within their emissions caps, building owners will have to reduce their use of fossil fuels and boost energy efficiency by upgrading boilers, insulation and heat distribution systems.

So what?

This initiative is all part of Mayor de Blasio’s plan for NYC to adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement and achieve an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. Fossil fuels burned for heat and hot water in buildings make up 42% of the citywide greenhouse gas emissions. These new targets will reduce citywide emissions by 7% by 2035 which is the equivalent to removing 900,000 cars from the city’s roads.

This move follows a trend of more city and state level action towards emissions reductions following President Trump’s pledge to pull out of the Paris Climate agreement. Mayer de Blasio is part of the 377-strong group of ‘Climate Mayors’ who have all committed to their cities reaching the targets of the Paris agreement.

With New York leading the way we can expect other cities to follow suit as so far emissions restrictions on buildings have been restricted to new builds only.


Max Elder on Twitter

NYC mayor @BilldeBlasio makes NYC first city to mandate buildings reduce GHG emissions #signalsofchange

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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