New York City has passed a measure that caps emissions for large buildings – part of a handful of bills called the Climate Mobilization Act that are intended to combat climate change on a municipal level. The measure will likely create thousands of blue collar jobs – and cost the city’s landlords billions of dollars.
The bill was approved by the NYC city council last week on a 45 to 2 vote. It sets emissions limits on buildings over 25,000 square feet and requires landlords to retrofit buildings with new windows, heating systems and insulation. The goal: a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. The hammer: large fines for landlords who fail to meet the limits.
The Act also establishes a renewable energy loan program, orders building roofs to be covered with plants, solar panels or wind turbines, mandates a study on replacing the energy produced by the city’s oil- and gas-burning plants with renewable energy and batteries and changes the building code to make it wind turbine-friendly.
NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted that it is “the most aggressive municipal greenhouse gas emissions reduction legislation of any major US city.”
The measure would create an estimated 7,000+ jobs per year in construction and maintenance. The the cost to building owners has been pegged at $4 billion – costs Mayor Bill DiBlasio’s office said would be recovered through lower operating expenses.