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Cutting Carbon and Costs Across NYU

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions are crucial to combating the threat of climate change. In the absence of significant federal action to address GHG emissions, universities have become laboratories for innovative energy efficiency policy solutions to reduce such emissions. We believe that New York University (NYU) can play a vital role in this movement by […]

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The Urban Environmental Renaissance

Authors: Katrina Wyman and Danielle Spiegel-Feld City governments were an important source of environmental protection in the United States from the 1800s until well into the 1900s. However, since Congress passed a series of landmark environmental statutes in the 1970s, scholars have primarily equated environmental law with federal law. To the extent that scholars consider […]

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A Review of Green Roof Laws & Policies

 There are a number of reasons to install a green roof in an urban setting. Green roofs can help with stormwater retention, mitigate the urban heat island effect, enhance biodiversity, improve local air quality, and reduce building energy usage. The myriad benefits provided make green roofs an attractive tool for cities seeking to improve their […]

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Electrifying New York City’s School Bus Fleet: Legal & Policy Considerations

Every year, school bus contractors drive 150,000 New York City children to school in approximately 9,000 diesel buses that harm public health and the environment. Diesel exhaust exposure increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory symptoms, such as asthma. Exhaust and greenhouse gas emissions pollute the air and exacerbate the effects of climate […]

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Do Mandatory Energy Audits Reduce Building Energy Use?: A Bayesian Analysis of New York City’s Local Law 87

Cities are experimenting with a range of policy and regulatory tools to reduce energy use in the building sector as a pathway to substantial carbon emission reductions. Increasingly, cities are turning to policies that reduce information asymmetries and knowledge gaps through data transparency, focusing on existing buildings and the potential to achieve up to 50% […]

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Expanding Green Roofs in New York City: Towards a Location-Specific Tax Incentive

Vegetated, or “green,” roofs provide numerous social and environmental benefits to urban areas. Compared with conventional roofs, green roofs promote biodiversity, reduce building energy use, decrease noise, and improve the productivity of solar photovoltaic installations. They can also mitigate the urban heat island effect and reduce stormwater runoff, thereby diminishing flooding and pollution of local waterways. […]

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Water for Nukes: Could Canadian Hydropower Keep New York’s Emissions in Check After Indian Point?

The planned closure of the Indian Point nuclear facility, which currently supplies about 25 percent of New York City’s electricity, could cause a substantial rise in greenhouse emissions and local air pollution if concerted action is not taken to secure alternative clean energy resources for the City. In this Policy Brief, Guarini Center Energy Law […]

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Linking Across Borders: Opportunities and Obstacles for a Joint Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative-Western Climate Initiative Market

Despite the strong consensus in the scientific community that anthropogenic climate change requires urgent attention, neither the United States nor Canada has implemented a comprehensive national policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Into this void have stepped two regional cap-and-trade programs that regulate greenhouse gas emissions in parts of both countries.  One, the Regional Greenhouse […]