Green House Gas Emissions – Measure – Manage – Act


Approximately 50,000 buildings larger than 25,000 square feet are responsible for 40% of New York City’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This is not only a problem found in New York City. In fact, the built environment is one of the major emitters of the greenhouse gas of carbon across the world.

To tackle this problem, buildings need to become more sustainable and environmentally responsible, which is why in May of 2019 New York City passed the Climate Mobilization Act.



NYC Local Law 97 of 2019

On May 18, the City of New York enacted Local Law 97 of 2019 — the most ambitious climate legislation for buildings enacted by any city in the world. The new law places buildings on a path to reduce overall carbon emissions 80% by 2050 (80 x 50 Goal). Buildings, of all sizes, represent nearly 70% of the City’s emissions.

Requiring that buildings do their part to meet 80 x 50’s GHG reduction goals, Local Law 97 outlines two introductory compliance phases, with an initial period beginning 2024-2029. While some Climate Mobilization Act specifics are set to be determined by the new department, initial compliance limits are fairly rigid, and are set to target New York City buildings with the highest emissions intensity levels. Limits for the second compliance period of 2030-2034, are in line with the City’s interim emissions reduction goal of 40% by 2030 (40 x 30). The Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance will have some discretion in determining the compliance path and the carbon calculation process through the rulemaking process, but the 40% reduction limit is explicit in the legislation, with a requirement that any adjustments to emissions limits be at least as stringent as those laid out in the bill.


Simply put, if you own a building larger than 25,000 sq.ft., you need to measure your GHG emissions – through benchmarking – to analyze, manage, and potentially make improvements to comply with Local Law 97 of 2019.


How Will NYC Measure Carbon Emissions from Buildings?


As part of PlaNYC 2030, a building’s reported ENERGY STAR benchmarking score will be part of the public record. The City will utilize these reports – beginning in 2024 and submitted by owners/representatives – to verify if emission levels are in compliance. All NYC buildings 25,000 sq.ft. and larger have been required, since 2013, to annually conduct ENERGY STAR benchmarking for Local Law 84 and Local Law 133 (LL84 / LL133).

If you have not complied with these NYC benchmarking laws or worried your information has not been reported accurately, The Cotocon Group specializes in ENERGY STAR Benchmarking and can immediately help.


How Do I Measure My Building’s Carbon Emissions and Know If I Comply?

Benchmarking your building helps to reduce your carbon emissions and get into local law compliance

Step 1 – Measure and analyze carbon intensity by benchmarking energy consumption through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Local Law 84 and Local law 133 (LL84 / LL133) requires benchmarking annually for buildings 25,000 sq.ft. and larger. The Cotocon Group specializes in NYC Benchmarking Compliance


Step 2 – Calculate if you’re in compliance with Local Law 97. Convert your building’s carbon footprint from Kg to metric tons by dividing by 1,000 and compare to limit determined by LL97 for your building’s occupancy group


Step 3 – If your building is over the limit and not in compliance, calculate the penalty you will receive to be prepared. Multiply the difference between the limit and your actual carbon footprint (determined in step 2) by $268.


If this sounds too complicated, call an expert at The Cotocon Group to help and for more details, head over to our Local Law 97 section. You can also reach out to us via Email


How Do I Reduce My Carbon Emissions and Prepare for Compliance?


Reduce your buildings carbon foot print. Focus on different utilities that contributes to green house gas emissions

Buildings should begin developing long-term energy and carbon reduction strategies as soon as possible to meet emissions performance targets. This process takes time and to be successful, requires input from numerous stakeholders including tenants, building operations, ownership, and management. A carbon mitigation plan should be developed to evaluate all potential energy and carbon reduction initiatives in the near, medium, and long term:


  • Base building HVAC
  • Common area lighting
  • Sensors and controls
  • Tenant lighting, plug loads and HVAC
  • Retail and ground-floor tenants
  • Operator and occupant training


If you are completing or recently completed your Local Law 87 energy audits, that’s a great place to start. If you haven’t completed Local Law 87 yet, contact The Cotocon Group, we are experienced with handling all aspects of LL87 for every type of building.


What About Tenants Who Account for a Majority the Building’s Energy Use?


The energy consumption of tenants contributes substantially to overall energy use and can, therefore, account for large savings opportunities. Reducing your building’s overall energy and carbon intensity will not be possible without collaboration with all stakeholders, particularly the tenants. Meet with tenants to discuss energy efficiency and also discuss energy upgrades that can be performed mid-lease that could lower their energy bills. NYSERDA has an incentive program, the Commercial Tenant Program, that will pay for some or all of the cost of identifying energy reduction opportunities in new and existing tenants’ spaces. The Cotocon Group is an approved vendor for NYSERDA’s Commercial Tenant Program.

What’s Next?

As reported by The New York Times, Mark Chambers, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said that while the cumulative cost for building owners to make the retrofits would go over $4 billion, they would later recover that spent money in reduced operating expenses.

In the first few years of the law, the fines will be significant but manageable for most but not all buildings “Partial compliance with the law is possible to minimize the fines. But by 2030 the emission limits will drop sharply, and without very significant financing and technical assistance, the fines could become unmanageable for some buildings.”

New York City is now at a crossroads: it can either continue its current energy infrastructure or find new and clean ways to generate energy without making its citizens sick from harmful toxins. The main goal of these laws is not to punish the small building owners or co-ops, but to reduce the immense amounts of greenhouses gases produced by a disproportionately small share of buildings – to provide a better future for all New Yorkers.


Green House Gas Emissions – Measure Manage Act






Carbon Emissions


Much conversation about carbon emissions in today’s world, in relation to climate control and global warming. Discover the many ways to decrease emissions in our daily lives.

There are both natural and human sources of carbon emissions. Natural sources include; decomposition, ocean releases and respiration. Human sources come from activities like cement production, deforestation as well as the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

Carbon emissions contribute to climate change, which can have serious consequences for humans and their environment. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, emissions in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), make up more than 80 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in the Unites States.


The Cotocon Group

United States CO2 Emissions


The US Environmental Protection Agency attributed recent decreases to a reduction in emissions from fossil fuel combustion. This was a result of multiple factors including switching from coal to natural gas consumption in the electric power sector; warmer winter conditions that reduced demand for heating fuel in the residential and commercial sectors; and a slight decrease in electricity demand


Carbon affects the climate according the the theory, carbon dioxide controls temperature because the CO2 molecules in the air absorb infrared radiation. The CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere are virtually transparent to the visible radiation that delivers the sun’s energy to the earth. Rising CO2 concentrations are already casing the planet to heat up, Greenhouse warming doesn’t happen right away because the ocean soaks up heat. This means that Earth’s temperature will increase at least another 0.6 degrees Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit) because of CO2 already in the atmosphere.


Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

  1. Water Usage
  2. Reuse and Recycle
  3. Clean Energy Sources
  4. Insulate Your Home Properly
  5. Energy Star Appliances
  6. Adjust Lighting
  7. Moderate Thermostat
  8. Add Solar Panels
  9. Fly Less
  10. Walk More – Drive Less
  11. When Driving – Don’t Speed!
  12. Avoid Traffic
  13. Eat Locally Produced and Organic Food
  14. Cut Out Beef and Dairy (Food produces about 8 tons of emissions per household, or about 17% of the total. Worldwide, new reports suggest that livestock agriculture produces around a half of all man-made emissions.)
  15. Invest in Green Buildings


Call us for more information on how to do your part in decreasing your carbon emissions to build a better environment, (212) 889-6566

What is OneNYC 2050?

OneNYC 2050 is a strategy to secure our city’s future against the challenges of today and tomorrow. With bold actions to confront our climate crisis, achieve equity, and strengthen our democracy, we are building a strong and fair city. Created under the requirements of Local Law 84 of 2013, OneNYC 2050 is New York City’s long-term strategic plan. OneNYC provided a blueprint for tackling New York City’s most significant challenges— population growth, aging infrastructure, increasing inequality, evolving economy, and climate change.


City’s Goals for 2050:

  • End reliance on fossil fuels
    • To be completely powered by renewable energy (ex: buildings, transportation, economy).
  • Dependence on cars, No More!
    • Upgraded bike lanes, fast & reliable buses & subways, & easy transport with ferry rides.
  • Safe & secure housing
    • Cultural centers, libraries, small businesses, & corner grocery stores (open late for convenience).
  • Economic security
    • Good jobs, fair wages, benefits, & advancement.
  • Equal childhood education
  • Modern & reliable NYC infrastructure
    • Roads, railways, tunnels, bridges, water supply, & electric grid all ready for the demands of a growing city.
  • Vibrant democracy
    • Every voice to be heard, immigrants from every culture are warmly welcomed.
  • Carbon Neutrality
  • Guaranteed healthcare
    • Regardless of income or immigration status.
  • Ending Opiod Edpidemic
  • Protection for tenants from displacement
  • Securing the city’s financial stability


“Together we will build a strong and fair city”


The Cotocon Group

“Mid 21st Century Revolution”


OneNYC 2050 is a bold, intelligent, and forward plan for the future of New York City. The Cotocon Group is proud to be in full support of the challenges ahead in order to achieve these goals.  Call us for more information, (212) 889-6566.

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