Statement from Real Estate Board of New York President John H. Banks on Intro 1253

STATEMENT BY REBNY PRESIDENT JOHN H. BANKS

“There is no greater challenge to our city, state, and planet than climate change.  The real estate industry and other stakeholders support the goal of reducing carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030.  Unfortunately, Intro 1253 does not take a comprehensive, city-wide approach needed to solve this complex issue.  A coalition of stakeholders including environmental organizations, labor, engineering professionals, housing advocates and real estate owners came together and proposed comprehensive and balanced reforms that would have achieved these goals.  The bill that passed today, however, will fall short of achieving the 40 x 30 reduction by only including half of the city’s building stock. The approach taken today will have a negative impact on our ability to attract and retain a broad range of industries, including technology, media, finance, and life sciences, that provide opportunity and continued economic growth that is so important for our city.  Many of our members are national leaders in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we will continue to offer our expertise to public officials and other stakeholders to ensure New York is at the forefront in the fight against climate change.” 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  • REBNY fully supports the City’s goal to reduce carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.
  • The bill being voted on today exempts more than 50 percent of New York’s built environment from its carbon emission limits
  • Houses of worship, buildings with at least one rent-regulated unit, income-restricted coops, public housing and city-owned buildings are all exempt from the carbon emission limits.
  • The legislation imposes rigid caps on carbon emissions from buildings over 25,000 square feet. 
  • The fixed limits will restrict a building’s ability to accommodate growth. The more people in a building, the more energy will be consumed and the more likely the building will exceed the hard cap. 
  • The cumulative cost to building owners to make the upgrades needed to meet the caps would be at least $4 billion.
  • Buildings that are under the emissions limit can actually increase their carbon output without penalty until it hits the cap.
  • The City Council dismissed Urban Green Council’s workable plan that enjoyed the support of environmental organizations, labor, engineering professionals, housing advocates and real estate owners.
  • The Urban Green Council plan would have imposed achievable periodic building energy percentage reductions that would result in the overall goal of 40 percent carbon reduction by 2030.  
  • Under this legislation New York City will not be able to meet the 40 percent carbon reduction goal by 2030 and time will have been lost to address our most urgent threat.