City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality - NYC Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice
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City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality

City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality would modernize our city’s zoning regulations to support our climate goals.

City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality would modernize our city’s zoning regulations to support our climate goals.

The world is facing a climate emergency. To respond, cities across the globe — including New York City — have set ambitious goals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve our goals by 2050, we need to transform our energy grid, retrofit our buildings, and shift to electric vehicles, transit and other modes.

The Department of City Planning (NYC Planning) is working with the Department of Buildings (DOB), New York City Fire Department (FDNY), and Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) on this proposal to clear the way for the many green investments needed in our buildings.

Learn more from the Department of City Planning.

Greener transportation

New York has ambitious goals for electrifying its transportation sector, but recent studies show it is significantly behind other major U.S. cities. Of the city’s 1.9 million private vehicles, less than 1% are zero-emission vehicles, and there are very limited public locations available to charge electric vehicles. City of Yes would facilitate electric vehicle charging in public garages and other places where it is needed.Just one of the proposals to ease EV charging would more than double the space available for charging in commercial areas of the city – more than 400 million additional square feet. It would also clarify regulations and facilitate safe bicycle and e-mobility parking.

Less waste

Improving the city’s waste stream is key to achieving carbon neutrality. This will require a substantial reduction in the amount of waste being sent to landfills. It will also require a reduction in the amount of stormwater that gets sent to our wastewater treatment plants.City of Yes would expand the use of permeable paving and rain gardens, remove red tape and uncertainty for recycling and composting, and facilitate rooftop food production.

Cleaner buildings

In recent years, the NYC Construction Codes have been updated to include stringent requirements on energy efficiency and building performance. In some instances, zoning regulations stand in the way of the solutions buildings need to use to meet these standards.City of Yes would address burdensome restrictions on wall thickness, height, and other regulations that limit building electrification and retrofitting. Our buildings could get energy efficient upgrades while maintaining the look and feel of New York’s neighborhoods.Among other impacts, these changes would support environmentally friendly retrofits for over 50,000 buildings, including over 1 million homes, that are not currently feasible to retrofit today.

More sunpower

City of Yes would remove existing zoning obstacles that severely limit how much space on a rooftop can be covered by solar panels, unnecessarily hampering clean solar energy. It would also make it easier to install energy storage for solar power generated locally.

Among other impacts, these changes would open solar opportunities in over 8,500 acres of parking lots across the city.

Take Action

When we bring our voices, our action, and our advocacy to our schools, our homes, and our workplaces, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for the 8.3 million people who call our five boroughs home.

Take Action Now