Local Law 97
Carbon Emission Limit
Local Law 97 establishes emissions restrictions for buildings greater than 25,000 square feet, which will reduce carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and more than 80% by 2050.
This ordinance is expected to reduce carbon emissions in New York City by 6 million tons by 2030, the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road. By 2030, it will have created 26,700 green jobs and avoided 50 to 130 premature deaths and 150 hospital visits. LL97 will enhance air quality in New York City, shielding residents from dangerous pollution that has been related to asthma, emphysema, and other health problems.
Although Local Law 97 (LL97) does not take effect until 2024, decisions made now will have a significant impact on buildings’ capacity to comply with the law. Given the law’s long-term capital planning requirements, building decision makers need to know immediately if the law applies to their structures and, if so, what alternative compliance pathways are open to them. Owners can also coordinate compliance with routine replacement or refinancing cycles.
What buildings need to comply?
The most prominent and best option is implementing energy conservation measure requirements for certain buildings. If opting for the alternative compliance pathway, building owners are required to submit a report prepared by a retro-commissioning agent demonstrating that they have implemented the appropriate energy conservation measures outlined below. Other alternatives are:
- Purchase greenhouse gas offsets, also known as carbon offsets, to deduct up to 10% of a given building’s emissions.
- Greenhouse gas emissions trading. Although, this is not a guaranteed pathway in the near-term.
Violations for Non-Compliance
Beginning in 2025, an owner of a covered building who submits a report indicating that the building has exceeded its annual building emissions limit will be subject to a civil penalty equal to the difference between the building emissions limit and the reported building emissions for that year, multiplied by $268.
Buildings with emissions higher than prescribed limits must ensure that certain energy conservation measures have been conducted where applicable. These measures include and are not limited to: