You are reading

Constantinides Spearheads Major Climate Change Bills That Target Big Buildings

via Council Member Costa Constantinides

April 19, 2019 By Alexa Beyer

The New York City Council passed the boldest climate legislation of any major U.S. city yesterday.

The Climate Mobilization Act will dramatically reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade by cracking down on big buildings.

Many are describing the sweeping eight-bill package, initiated by Council Member Costa Constantinides, as New York’s version of the Green New Deal.

“It’s a new day in New York City,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted yesterday. “Climate change is an existential threat and we must rise to the occasion. The @NYCCouncil and @Costa4NY are taking aggressive action with our Climate Mobilization Act,” the tweet read.

The centerpiece of the legislation takes aim at buildings larger than 25,000 square feet. The owners of these buildings will have to reduce their emissions by 40 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The law will take effect in 2024 when the limits begin to kick in. The Dept. of Buildings will establish a new unit to regulate and enforce the standards.

Some buildings, however, will be exempt from the cap, such as apartment buildings with rent-regulated units.

Property owners subject to the law will have to retrofit their buildings to meet the target, or do something else like purchase greenhouse gas offsets. While only 2 percent of the million structures in New York City are 25,000 square feet or larger, they emit 30 percent of the city’s greenhouse gases, according to the city.

Emissions from buildings accounted for 67 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas in 2015, according to an inventory published by the city.

“The Climate Mobilization Act is a downpayment on the future of New York City — one that ensures we lead the way in the ever-growing fight against climate change,” Constantinides said in a statement after the legislation was passed. “Today, we sent that message to the world by enacting the boldest mandate to reduce carbon emissions, tackling one of the biggest drivers of climate change.”

Mark Chambers, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, told the New York Times that the new legislation will cost building owners more than $4 billion cumulatively. However, the city expects that the legislation will also create thousands of jobs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the legislation, which passed 45-2 in the council, into law.

email the author:


Click for Comments 
Howard Gibson

Isn’t this a big of a hardship? Any decent size co-op building will be hit by this. It’s 5,000 per floor say, so every 6 story building will be hit. It will be very expensive… You know what, I think they are trying to destroy us. Only the very rich will be able to afford it soon.. Let’s call it for what it is… a plan do destroy our homes.

James Mitchell

Guess this is one way of getting those one percenters, well in this case two percenters to pay their fair share. (Since only two percent of the building in NYC meet the city’s criteria). Funny though, how all these progressive laws impact and make requirements of so few, but make for good copy.

Get Woke Go Broke

More restrictions, more rules, more spending. TAX WASTE DEBT FAILURE
The Democratic way.

Bill Hanousek

Seems like every other car in Queens is Uber or Lyft, leading to increased pollution and congestion, especially in Astoria and the area surrounding LGA. This law won’t take effect for 5 years and offers exclusions and exemptions. It’s o.k., but begin the process with limiting Uber and Lyft and getting those excess cars off the streets!


Another mandate from the city where the costs will be passed on to the commercial renters. You think Steinway is a ghost town now? Just wait.

Pat Macnamara

Line your pockets with developers money—have them build gigantic skyscrapers then throw this at them-classic democratic moves. meanwhile Steinway street is a ghost town, crime is up. Lowlives

Pat Macnamaracist you hate skyscrapers and greed right


You know the current Republican president built gigantic skyscrapers right?


Costa & Corey lead New York City into a safer future – with new jobs to protect our environment!


Please consider mandating bird migration friendly glass on new high rises. Bird strikes kill literally millions of birds yearly.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Islander gets 3-9 years for stealing homes across Queens belonging to elderly or disabled owners: AG

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that a Long Island man was sentenced to three to nine years in prison Friday for leading a deed theft ring that resulted in five homes being stolen from vulnerable Queens residents and saw them earn more $1 million in ill-gotten gains.

Marcus Wilcher, 48, of Carll Drive in Bay Shore, pleaded guilty in May to grand larceny in the second degree in Queens Supreme Court for his role in leading the crew following an investigation by the Attorney General’s office.