New York Continues to Implement Climate Legislation
We have reported in past issues of this Client Advisory and in our year-end reports to clients on important New York legislation seeking to address climate change. In recent months, there have been several such developments that will affect real estate interests, including cooperatives and condominiums.
We previously reported that the New York City Council was poised to approve a bill banning the use of gas heating in new construction. The bill was passed and is now known as Local Law 154 of 2021. The ban takes effect at the end of 2023 for new buildings comprising less than seven stories, and in 2027 for buildings of seven stories or more, with certain limited exceptions for new construction of affordable housing.
The New York City Climate Mobilization Act’s flagship financing program, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), was delayed for over a year before finally debuting last summer, and then almost immediately went back into hibernation after closing two high-profile transactions. In the interim, the program administrators revised the program requirements to deal with, among other things, the ban on gas in new construction. New PACE guidelines were released in March and the program administrator is now accepting new applications, opening a potential new source of financing for energy-efficiency capital projects.
Perhaps the most notable development in recent months has been New York State’s release of its draft Scoping Plan under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CLCPA sets a target of 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in New York by 2050, with an interim target of 40% reduction by 2030. The CLCPA’s draft Scoping Plan was assembled by a number of working groups and is intended to provide the legislative and regulatory framework for these reductions. It is difficult to overstate the breadth of the Scoping Plan. It outlines potentially significant changes to literally every sector of New York’s economy in an effort to achieve the CLCPA’s goals. The Scoping Plan is now in a public comment period, after which a final Plan will be delivered to the Governor and State Legislature by the end of the year.