New York’s plan to make 50,000 buildings super-efficient


New York City is on the verge of enacting one of the most ambitious citywide building energy efficiency laws in the country, aimed at getting its biggest buildings — including landmarks like the Empire State Building and Trump Tower — to shave their carbon emissions footprint by 40 percent by 2030 or face financial penalties.  

Buildings contribute a huge share of New York’s carbon emissions—nearly 70 percent, thanks to normal everyday use, but exacerbated by inefficient heating and cooling systems—so they’re an obvious target for regulation.

Backers of the bill say it’s an important step to help meet New York state’s broader climate change goals, and could pave the way for similar efforts in cities across the country. Opponents say the bill could place overly costly and potentially impossible energy-reduction demands on the city’s biggest buildings, while exempting too many older and less-efficient buildings to be effective.

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