May 27, 2021
Although New York City enacted Local Law 97 in 2019 to reduce emissions in large existing buildings, it currently has no plans to stop the construction of new buildings that burn fossil fuels.
On May 27, New York City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel introduced a bill that would prohibit gas use in new construction and in major renovations. If passed the bill would take effect in 2023. The bill is supported by local advocacy groups New York Communities for Change, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and New York Public Interest Research Group.
Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio supported similar efforts to phase out fossil fuel connections by 2030.
New York would be by far the largest jurisdiction to be covered by a gas phaseout. But it’s a necessary transition. According to a study conducted by RMI, air pollution from fossil fuel combustion in buildings in the state kills 1,114 New York City residents every year, disproportionately affecting communities of color.
A landmark report released last week from the International Energy Agency concluded investments in new gas, oil, and coal infrastructure must end if we are to achieve our net zero by 2050 climate goals – including ending the sale of gas furnaces to heat buildings by 2025.