Real Estate

Local Law 97 and Its Role in NYC’s Climate Action Plan

New York Local Law 97

New York City has long been a leader in the fight against climate change, and one of its most significant steps in recent years has been the implementation of Local Law 97. This legislation is a cornerstone of NYC’s Climate Action Plan, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency in buildings across the city. For businesses and property owners, understanding and complying with Local Law 97 is crucial, and that’s where The Cotocon Group’s sustainability consulting services come into play.

Understanding Local Law 97

Local Law 97, part of New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act, was enacted in 2019. It sets aggressive carbon emission reduction targets for buildings over 25,000 square feet, requiring them to reduce their emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. These buildings account for nearly 60% of the city’s carbon footprint, making this legislation essential for achieving NYC’s climate goals.

Why Local Law 97 Matters

The importance of Local Law 97 cannot be overstated. Buildings are the largest source of carbon emissions in NYC, contributing significantly to air pollution and climate change. By targeting these emissions, Local Law 97 addresses the root cause of environmental degradation in the city. The law is not just about meeting legal requirements; it’s about making NYC a healthier, more sustainable place to live and work.

Key Requirements of Local Law 97

Local Law 97 mandates that covered buildings must meet specific emissions limits, which will become progressively stricter over time. Property owners must report their buildings’ emissions annually to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). Failure to comply with these limits can result in significant fines, making it financially imperative for property owners to take action.

Key requirements include:

  • Emissions Limits: Buildings must not exceed specific carbon emission thresholds. These limits will tighten in 2030 and again in subsequent years.
  • Annual Reporting: Building owners must submit an annual report detailing their emissions. This report must be prepared by a registered design professional.
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance: Fines for exceeding emissions limits can be substantial, calculated based on the amount by which emissions exceed the limit.

How The Cotocon Group Can Help

Navigating the complexities of Local Law 97 can be challenging. This is where The Cotocon Group’s sustainability consulting services become invaluable. The Cotocon Group specializes in helping businesses and property owners understand and comply with NYC Local Law 97, ensuring that they not only meet legal requirements but also improve their overall sustainability.

Expert Assessment and Planning

The first step in compliance is understanding your building’s current emissions profile. The Cotocon Group provides comprehensive assessments to determine where your building stands in relation to the emissions limits set by Local Law 97. Their team of experts will then develop a customized plan to reduce emissions, which may include energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy installations, and operational changes.

Energy Audits and Benchmarking

Energy audits are a critical component of the compliance process. The Cotocon Group conducts detailed energy audits to identify areas where energy use can be reduced. This process includes benchmarking against similar buildings to provide a clear picture of where improvements are needed and how they can be achieved.

Implementation Support

Once a plan is in place, The Cotocon Group assists with the implementation of energy-saving measures. This may involve retrofitting existing systems, installing new energy-efficient equipment, or integrating renewable energy sources such as solar panels. Their expertise ensures that all changes are made efficiently and effectively, minimizing disruption to building operations.

Compliance Reporting

Annual reporting is a key requirement of Local Law 97, and The Cotocon Group simplifies this process. They handle all aspects of compliance reporting, ensuring that all necessary data is accurately recorded and submitted to the NYC Department of Buildings on time. This service reduces the administrative burden on property owners and ensures that all reports meet the stringent requirements of the law.

The Broader Impact of Local Law 97

Local Law 97 is more than just a regulatory requirement; it’s a catalyst for positive change in New York City. By driving down carbon emissions, the law contributes to cleaner air, reduced urban heat island effect, and a healthier environment for all residents. Moreover, compliance with the law often results in reduced energy costs for building owners, creating financial savings that can be reinvested in further sustainability initiatives.

Challenges and Opportunities

While Local Law 97 presents challenges, particularly for older buildings with outdated systems, it also offers significant opportunities. Buildings that proactively comply with the law will not only avoid fines but can also enhance their marketability. Sustainable buildings are increasingly attractive to tenants and buyers who prioritize environmental responsibility.

For businesses, compliance with Local Law 97 can also improve corporate sustainability ratings and demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship. This can enhance a company’s reputation and provide a competitive advantage in an increasingly eco-conscious marketplace.

The Future of NYC’s Climate Action

Local Law 97 is a pivotal element of NYC’s broader Climate Action Plan, which aims to make the city carbon neutral by 2050. This ambitious goal will require ongoing efforts to reduce emissions across all sectors, but the building sector is a critical focus due to its significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint.

The success of Local Law 97 will depend on the collective efforts of property owners, businesses, and sustainability experts like The Cotocon Group. By working together, we can achieve meaningful reductions in carbon emissions, enhance the resilience of NYC’s infrastructure, and create a more sustainable future for all.


Local Law 97 represents a significant step forward in NYC’s fight against climate change. It sets rigorous standards for reducing carbon emissions from buildings, which are the largest source of pollution in the city. Compliance is not just a legal obligation but a moral one, contributing to the well-being of current and future generations.

The Cotocon Group stands ready to assist property owners and businesses in navigating the complexities of Local Law 97. With their expert sustainability consulting services, you can ensure that your building not only meets the required standards but also becomes a leader in energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Together, we can make New York City a model for urban sustainability and a beacon of hope in the global effort to combat climate change.

Also Read: Unleashing the Power of Commercial Real Estate Signs

The Cotocon Group

Sustainability Consulting Experts in NYC. Leading the Real Estate Industry in Reducing GHG Emissions and increasing Property Value.

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