Dozens of industry leaders, experts and advocates will provide key expertise as the de Blasio administration undertakes a major retrofits plan to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the launch of the Technical Working Group, which will help move forward the Mayor’s aggressive green buildings plan, marking a key step toward the City’s goal of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This fall, Mayor de Blasio pledged an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2005 levels by 2050, making New York City the largest city in the world to commit to that goal. In New York City, buildings are responsible for approximately three-quarters of all greenhouse gas emissions. To kick off the administration’s commitment to 80 by 50, Mayor de Blasio released One City: Built to Last, a sweeping ten-year plan to retrofit public and private buildings to dramatically reduce the city’s contributions to climate change, while creating green jobs and generating operational savings.

In addition to its commitment to retrofit every public building with any significant energy use by 2025, the administration is also spurring private building owners to invest in efficiency upgrades – setting interim targets and incentives to catalyze voluntary reductions, and implementing mandates that will trigger if interim reduction targets are not met.

“We know that climate change is an existential threat to our city and our planet,” said Mayor de Blasio. “That’s why this fall, we made a sweeping commitment to retrofit our city’s building stock, leading by example in public buildings and partnering with the private sector to do the same. With the launch of the Technical Working Group, we’re another step closer to making these ambitious goals a reality. I’m grateful to each member for their commitment and expertise, and look forward to working together to ensure a stronger, more sustainable New York City.”

The Technical Working Group (TWG) brings together dozens of leaders from New York City’s world-class real estate industry, architects, engineers, labor unions, affordable housing experts, and environmental advocates to help develop those policies and programs necessary to transform the city’s building stock, working toward a 30 percent reduction in building-based emissions by 2025 and placing New York City on the path to 80 by 50.

The members of the TWG will develop and recommend the data analysis, interim metrics and indicators, voluntary actions, and potential mandates to effectively implement the City’s emissions reduction goal.

A full list of the TWG members can be found below.

“We are pleased to lend the expertise of our membership, many of whom are successfully employing sustainability measures in urban built environments, to the One City: Built to Last Technical Working Group,” said Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 is an ambitious target that will ensure New York City continues to lead the world by example and this working group will play a critical role in identifying ways to meet the 80×50 goal.

“Mayor de Blasio has tasked the Technical Working Group with an ambitious mandate that will accelerate the city’s green trajectory and rightfully focuses on buildings, the source of 75 percent of carbon emissions,” said Russell Unger, Executive Director of Urban Green Council. “The real estate industry helped drive the first green building revolution and they’ll need to drive the next one.”
The Technical Working Group will be supported and informed by a Technical Study of the building sector. The goal of the Technical Study is to assist the City in setting the performance targets necessary to achieve a building-based GHG reduction of 30 percent by 2025 and to put it on a pathway to an 80 percent reduction in citywide emissions by 2050. Specifically, the Technical Study will collect and analyze data on current energy use patterns across multiple building sectors and model future building-based energy consumption out to 2050 under different policies and scenarios. Based on this analysis, the Technical Working Group will recommend potential energy performance standards for new construction, GHG reduction targets for existing buildings, and mandates for existing buildings that will be triggered if targets are not met.

New York City has already taken the lead on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mayor de Blasio’s commitment of 80 by 50 builds upon New York City’s 2007 commitment to reduce emissions 30 percent by 2030. The City has already achieved a 19 percent reduction from 2005 levels, and is on track to reach a 30 percent reduction by 2025, five years earlier than the City’s initial goal. The Technical Work Group will build upon this previous success and on work conducted by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, including One City: Built to Last.

Link to full press release.