Progressive cities and states have begun enacting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, one of the leading sources of such emissions in the United States. The same jurisdictions have also generally committed to pursuing decarbonization equitably, without exacerbating the disadvantages faced by historically marginalized communities. This research examines the potential for building electrification to impact tenant energy costs through a case study of New York City, focusing on whether there are gaps in current protections for low- and moderate-income tenants, and whether owners are likely to electrify their properties under the current policy framework.
Reducing Building Emissions
Between 2020 and 2021, researchers from across NYU and several private consultancies conducted a pioneering study into New York City’s marquis building emissions regulation, Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97). The effort produced the first in-depth modelling of the predicted impacts of LL97 and explored whether, and how, a trading program might be added to the law. In a suite of new articles published in the Environmental Law Reporter, two of the study’s leading investigators, Danielle Spiegel-Feld and Katrina Wyman, set out key lessons for other jurisdictions developing their own building regulations.
Towards Tradable Building Performance Standards
This article sets out the case for permitting emissions trading among building owners and provides guidance for how such trading programs should be structured.
Carbon Trading for NYC's Building Sector
Between January 2020 and June 2021, the Guarini Center led a team of researchers to study whether New York City should adopt a carbon trading program for its buildings pursuant to its landmark climate law, Local Law 97 of 2019. The study, which was the first rigorous assessment of Local Law 97, brought together researchers from various centers across New York University, including the Furman Center, Marron Institute, and Institute for Policy Integrity, as well as several private sector consultancies including The Brattle Group and HR&A Advisors.