Dear Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie:
Subject: Proposed Part R of TED Executive Budget (Deduction of Renewable Energy Credits in New York City)
New York Passive House is a building industry trade group committed to achieving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Our organization strongly opposes the inclusion of Part R in the Transportation, Economic Development, and Environmental Conservation Executive Budget and we urge the Governor, the NY State Assembly and the Senate to strike Part R from the State’s FY 2022 Budget. This Part R amendment has been referred to as a loophole added to the Governor’s Executive Budget by the Real Estate Board of New York to provide advantages to large developers and building owners while undermining the intent of New York City’s Local Law 97 (LL97) to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by active investments in conservation and efficiency.
The need to address climate change grows more urgent every day. LL97 requires large and medium-sized buildings, which account for nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the City, to significantly reduce their emissions in phases: buildings larger than 25,000 sq. ft. need to reduce their carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, and 80% by 2050. Part R would enable New York City large building owners to evade taking climate change action through the use of Renewable Energy Credits rather than performing the actual work of operating energy efficient buildings as directed by LL97 to take direct action against climate change.
At this time, a City Advisory Board is working to develop the best path forward for implementation of LL97 including a fair plan with balanced rules for energy credits and offsets as necessary and appropriate to addressing climate change. Part R short-circuits this process, obviating the energy efficiency targets of the State’s visionary Climate Leadership and Protection Act, and negating the intent of Local Law 97.
LL97 is a blue print for establishing a new green economy in the City in the recovery from the pandemic. A Retrofit Market Analysis by Urban Green found that if all buildings comply through energy efficiency, Local Law 97 could create a $20 billion market and 140,000 jobs by 2030 significantly advancing the City’s recovery. Further, over the long term, owners and developers would benefit by maintenance and energy savings, the eco-economy would grow, and the City would have a major collective impact on climate change.
In the City of New York, historically marginalized communities, especially communities of color, have experienced the worst consequences of climate change and inequality: in effect those least responsible for climate change suffer its gravest consequences. At this point in time and circumstance, it is essential that all the citizens of New York benefit equally as we emerge from the pandemic crisis and tackle climate change.
Retraction of Part R and adherence to the guidance of LL97 are crucial in reaching the aggressive environmental goals of New York City and State and ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an overall 85% by 2050. Together, we can transform New York’s economy, create new jobs, and stimulate industry and innovation. We can work together to build more resilient communities to benefit, and protect, all New Yorkers. And we can set a leadership standard for the nation and the world.