Hundreds of New Yorkers Demand Mayor Adams Strengthen Local Law 97 Rules at Public Hearing

Hundreds today New Yorkers testified and submitted written public comments at the Department of Buildings hearing on Local Law 97.

They extended the hearing as they demanded that Mayor Adams amend his proposed rules to fully implement and enforce the landmark citywide climate and jobs law known as New York CityGreen New Deal” for buildings. Mayor Adams, at the behest of the real estate lobby, proposes two major loopholes in the implementation of the law.

New Yorkers want good jobs, affordable energy and a decent future…”

New Yorkers we want good jobs, affordable energy, and a livable future – Local Bill 97 is well on its way to doing just that by moving away from fossil fuels in our largest buildings. Mayor Adams, at the behest of the real estate lobby, must abandon his foolish crusade to gut this critical climate bill,” said Eric Weltman, lead organizer for Food & Water Watch in New York. “Instead of handing his corporate donors a license to pollute, Mayor Adams must stand with his constituents demanding full enforcement and implementation of Local Law 97 by immediately strengthening the proposed rules.”

Local Bill 97, passed in 2019, requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to begin reducing carbon emissions by January 2024, moving toward net zero emissions by 2050. New city data released this summer found that 89% of city buildings are on track to meet the law’s requirements by 2024. The law is also on track to create dozens of jobs and is expected to lower energy bills.

Advocates criticize Mayor Adams’ proposed rules for two key issues that threaten his intent: a two-year delay and an unlimited loophole in the “buy-in” of companies that exchange renewable energy credits for actual emissions reductions. If passed and unchanged, the rules reflect the demands of a well-funded real estate industry campaign to gut the law.

“Exactly one year ago, we sent a letter to the mayor, DEP, and DOB expressing concern about rulemaking that would weaken Local Law 97. We called for curbs on REC purchases, enforcement of pollution limits, and support for NYCHA and the working class. owners in the transition process. Since, New Yorkers felt the devastating effects of climate change and emphasized the need for drastic and bold action. Starting in 2019, we had the opportunity to become leaders in our emissions reduction targets, and now is not the time to slow down,” said Councilwoman Carmen De La Rosa.

“If Mayor Adams had any shame after mishandling multiple climate disasters, including the devastating flood three weeks ago, he would withdraw his proposal and propose rules to ensure full and uncompromising enforcement of Local Law 97,” said Pete Sikora, Climate and Inequality. Campaign Director at New York Communities for Change. “New Yorkers deserve reduced pollution, good jobs and lower energy bills. As demonstrated at today’s hearing, we will continue to sound the alarm: if Adams is bought by the real estate lobby, working New Yorkers will be in deep trouble. We will not rest until we secure a better future for our city, especially for our members in low-income communities of color.”

“In recent weeks New York City experienced flood after flood destroying our roads, highways, subways and homes for our residents. The climate crisis is here – and we cannot accept Mayor Adams’ attempts to gut NYC’s landmark climate legislation,” said Shiv Soin, Co-CEO of TREEage. “The student evidence at today’s hearing makes it clear that anything less than the immediate implementation and enforcement of Local Law 97 is unacceptable.”

New York City is leading national climate policy with Local Bill 97. We know this law is essential to improving the health of our communities, creating tens of thousands of jobs, lowering energy costs and reducing pollution citywide,” said Megan Ahearn, NYPIRG Program Director. . “Mayor Adams must not jeopardize this critical law with half-measures and enforcement loopholes that serve the real estate and fossil fuel industries at the expense of everyday New Yorkers.”

“Local Law 97 only allows building owners to defer compliance with annual emission limits under very limited circumstances. To avoid penalties, building owners are required by law to prove that they attempted to meet emission limits but were not reasonably able to do so. The proposed rules allow essentially any building owner to defer compliance with the law, even if they have not done so none efforts to reduce emissions from their buildings. Because of this, the rules are illegal and send a troubling signal that the city is unwilling to hold building owners accountable – even in the face of the climate crisis,” said Michael Youhana, Senior Associate Attorney of Earthjustice.

“It is outrageous, shameful and reeks of cronyism that Eric Adams gutted Local Law 97 at the behest of his real estate donors,” said Cherie Acierno of Rise and Resist. “This climate law, created after. NYC declared a climate emergency in 2019, is fighting climate pollution at the scale and speed required by science, and is setting an example for the rest of the world. The law would provide thousands of design, renovation and construction jobs, modernize our city’s polluting infrastructure, lower energy costs and be particularly beneficial to low-income communities most affected by the flooding, toxic air and heat waves that now we all experience. . A grassroots multiracial coalition of New Yorkers fought for this law, and we’re still here—now demanding that the mayor enforce and implement LL97 as required by law and as recommended by the LL97 Advisory Committee. The law is fair and enforceable, despite what the real estate industry wants people to think. It would provide enormous benefits for the health of New Yorkers and for the city and the world facing a global disaster. Adams must enforce and implement Local Law 97 without loopholes or delays.”

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“Rabbi Elimelech, an 18th-century commentator, criticized Noah for not responding to the most important message of his generation: to save the world and its creation from a devastating flood by warning the world against its corruption. Because saving the world and its creatures is the most important message for our generation, JCAN-NY supports Local Bill 97. This bill will benefit all New Yorkers with the promise of reduced building emissions, good green jobs, lower energy bills, and help to the communities hardest hit . Mayor Adams, like Noah, you are not responding to this message by proposing rules that weaken this law and endanger the city and its residents. Mayor Adams, it’s time to act. The water is already rising!,” said Mary Krieger, a steering committee member of the Jewish Climate Action Network in New York.

“We have a solution,” said Kim Fraczek, director of the Sane Energy Project. “We are ready to transform gas pipelines into top heat energy networks. It is absolutely intolerable to witness Mayor Adams using his authority to try to change our laws to shackle us to outdated 19th century technology only to serve the greedy profits of the real estate and fossil fuel industries.”

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