Op-ed By Aki Karja: To Reach Carbon Goals, NYC Must Retrofit Aging Affordable HousingAki Karja in Propmodo / October 1, 2022
Over the last several years, New York City has shown that it wants to be a national leader in addressing climate change by passing landmark legislation designed to curb emissions. The City Council’s Local Law 97, passed in 2019, requires large buildings to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, and Albany has also passed ambitious measures itself. In order to comply with LL97, real estate owners and operators will need to engage in extensive energy efficiency and decarbonization retrofits over the next two decades.
Buildings are the source of nearly 70 percent of carbon emissions in the Big Apple, according to the Urban Green Council, consuming 95 percent of electricity and using 80 percent of water. If we are going to meet ambitious climate goals, it is incumbent upon the city’s largest owners and operators to find ways to invest in sustainable infrastructure that will reduce emissions. The next step is to mobilize the stewards of New York City’s existing building stock in order to translate policy ideas into action and leverage innovative tech solutions to get there—and we should start by looking at our affordable housing.