New York City is moving forward with the Climate Mobilization Act which was passed by city counsel in April of 2019. In an article dated May 2, 2019, Habitat Magazine reported that the act will require buildings in excess of 25,000 square feet to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions by installing solar panels or green roofs (grass) on 100% of the rooftops of new buildings or upon installation of a new roof.
The bill is designed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050 based on a 2005 baseline. While these requirements do not begin until 2024, buildings will need to start planning now if they want to avoid heavy fines. The law imposes very harsh penalties for failing to abide by the act. While these laws are established to help the environment, the real estate industry opposes the new measures as it would cause an undue burden on residential buildings to comply with the law particularly co-ops and condominiums which are already facing serious monetary concerns due to rising real estate taxes and repairs and capital improvements in older, pre-war buildings.
Many types of buildings are exempt from the requirements of the act including houses of worship and apartment buildings (including co-ops and condos) with rent-regulated apartments. These buildings are still required to take steps to comply with new emissions law but compliance will be less costly.