NYC Local Law 97: Is your building in compliance?

Time left until New York City starts counting your buildings’ emissions towards fines


In 2019, New York City Council passed the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), which is an ambitious legislative package aligned with the City’s commitment to the carbon reduction targets set out in the Paris Agreement. It requires the economy-wide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to be lower by 40% before 2030 and 80% lower by 2050. As the centerpiece of CMA, Local law 97 regulates Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from buildings larger than 25,000 square feet. The law sets GHG emission limits based on occupancy groups, which becomes effective in 2025. These new laws will result in New York City having one of the most sustainable skylines in the world.

To summarize:

Before 2030, buildings with more than 25,000 sq. ft. need to reduce their carbon emissions by 40%, and then by 80% by 2050. The very worst performing buildings will have to act by 2024 to curb their emissions. Hefty fines will already be enforced starting in 2025 and will only increase until goals are reached.

To put things into perspective:

Violations include $0.50/square foot/month for non-reporting, and more importantly, $268 per metric ton of emissions over the building’s limit. There are also fines for not submitting a report and for submitting a false report.

You must have a plan in place by 2023 at the very latest.

Don’t wait. Especially if you’re above the 2024 GHG limits. Building owners should get started now, at least with developing a plan.

Complying with the Act will take four steps:
  1. Analysis of current emissions and overall and expected performance of current equipment
  2. Proposal for upgrading or replacing equipment to meet standards
  3. Exploring financing options for this capital expenditure to minimize cost and maximize time to ROI
  4. Implementation of the plan and reporting to confirm compliance.

Beginning May 1st, 2025, covered buildings will need to submit a report showing their carbon emissions from the year prior (2024). This reporting of a building’s emissions must occur annually and the report must be prepared by a registered design professional.

Buildings that do not submit an annual report prior to May 1st or release carbon emissions above their occupancy group limit will be fined.

Planning ahead for Local Law 97

174 Power Global is here to help guide you through this process so that you are prepared.

Call (833) 461-7474 to speak with a 174 Power Global policy expert to help you develop a strategic compliance plan to meet these deadlines to avoid penalties.

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