The New York City (NYC) council has passed a suite of measures to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) city buildings release, including a requirement for green roofs and/or solar panels on newly constructed buildings. The Climate Mobilization Act passed NYC council earlier this spring.
“For the past two years Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has been advocating for new measures to grow the green roof market in New York City, and we are very pleased with the passage of this new legislation,” said Steven W. Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. “New York now joins cities like Denver, San Francisco, Toronto, and Portland, Oregon in making green roofs a requirement.”
“We are passing a bill that will not just make our skyline prettier—it will also improve the quality of life for New Yorkers for generations to come,” said Rafael Espinal, NYC council member, 37th District. “My legislation will require green roofs to be installed on new residential and commercial buildings, making New York the largest city in the nation to pass such a law.”
Green roofs cool down cities by mitigating the urban heat island effect, cut energy costs, absorb air pollution, reduce storm water runoff, promote biodiversity, provide soundproofing, and make our cities more livable for all, Espinal added.
In a densely packed metropolitan of over seven million residents, commercial and residential buildings are the largest source of emissions and sit at the center of the policy change. The act will set emission caps with the goal of reducing emissions by 2030. Depending on the size and property assessments of the buildings, owners will be able to meet targets, ranging from a cut of emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 for larger buildings. Smaller buildings will reduce emissions in more modest measures.