In 2016, the world's leading countries signed the Paris Agreement which focused on reducing anthropogenic climate change on the planet. On May 2019, New York State and New York City declared its own ambitious goals aimed at decarbonizing the city and restricting the state’s energy use to relying completely on renewables.
Some of these goals specifically target infrastructure in the city since estimates cite buildings as accounting for nearly 70% of New York’s energy use. The main law of New York’s Climate Policy, Local Law 97, requires all buildings over 25,000 sq ft to reduce their CO2 footprint by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. It also mandates increasing the efficiency of buildings based on the Energy Star rating system. While very ambitious and a step in the right direction for New York, some critics have voiced concern over the comprehensiveness of the Energy Star rating system, how carbon dioxide emissions are calculated and what means and methods building owners will take in order to comply with the law. The legislation will become legally binding in 2024 and owners with buildings meeting the legal requirement will need to move quickly in order ensure their properties meet benchmarks.