Real Estate with Anessa Cohen

New York City has introduced the Climate Mobilization Act, also known as the Green New Deal4NY or Local Law 97, to mitigate the significant effects of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

Politicians are pulling their hair out trying to figure out new ways to slow down the crazy rate of climate change, which is warming the Earth’s surface and causing so much havoc, with rising sea levels, melting ice levels, and big storms. Reducing emissions from buildings seemed like the most significant jump the city could take on the quest to reduce emissions.

Toward that end, the NYC Council established a variety of legislative bills that would require great changes in the way buildings use electricity, heating, and cooling, with penalties for those buildings that do not comply with the deadlines presented within the legislative bills.

Most of these rules about reducing greenhouse gas emission from buildings must already be in place, showing reductions of at least 40% by the year 2030, or those buildings not complying will be subject to hefty fines until they catch up.

Essentially, building owners will have to prove they are improving the energy efficiency of their building systems and operations by showing cleaner power generation of their systems either through major reductions in their energy consumption or the installation of energy sources offering low-carbon fuels.

One of the simpler ways the buildings can at least begin to make inroads based on these new laws is to change all their light bulbs to more energy-efficient LED lighting and switch to more energy-efficient appliances as well as heating and cooling systems.

Some of the older buildings, which have older and more costly systems, have been caught in a major dilemma since this legislation has been introduced, as the cost of actually implementing these kinds of major changes could run into the millions of dollars—and most of the buildings, which are co-op or condos, certainly do not have such resources.

One of the more interesting aspects of how they structured this law is the alternative compliance option they are offering those buildings containing one or more rent-regulated units. For me, this highlights the emphasis that this progressive NYC Council puts on keeping rentals as cheap as possible, even though it is at the expense of their “going greener” policies.

Carbon emissions are not going to lessen themselves just because the council wants to look the other way when it comes to apartments with rent control.

Rather than releasing these landlords from rent control so as to give them the financial ability to upgrade their buildings to facilitate better carbon emission policies, the council would rather more carbon emissions than allow for rental assessments on those units for the sake of alleviating the carbon emissions problem.

Either way, over the next few years, we should watch how this new legislation translates into lowering carbon emissions that the City Council is striving for. Will it in fact work toward helping with climate change control?


Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and licensed N.Y.S. mortgage originator with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to Read more of Anessa Cohen’s articles at


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