What Are Carbon Emissions?


An Overview of Carbon

It is no secret that carbon exists everywhere – in the air we breathe, the products we use, even in the chemical makeup of our human bodies. Carbon serves as a fundamental basis for life, but as society has recently learned, too much of it can have a negative impact on the environment.

When we talk about carbon in terms of carbon emissions, we are dealing with the presence of carbon dioxide within the atmosphere. Nature itself already contains a certain amount of carbon, but extra greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere through mechanisms such as burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and also particular chemical reactions.

When looking at New York City, its “built” environment creates an unnecessary amount of carbon emissions. In other words, the electricity and energy needed to keep the city’s buildings running only causes more harmful greenhouse gases.

Why do They Matter?

The additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is throwing nature out of balance, which is one of the main causes of today’s rapid climate change. And not only do carbon emissions damage the environment, but they can potentially cause a multitude of health effects on humans.

With these factors in mind along with the newly acquired awareness of the negative effect of carbon emissions, the City of New York has taken action. In realizing the hazardous impact its own buildings have on the environment, New York City enacted Local Law 97 in 2019 to control the city’s carbon emissions.

This legislation forces building owners to make their buildings more efficient and sustainable in hopes of reducing the presence of carbon dioxide in the air while improving the value of each building.

More on NYC Local Law 97

New York City’s Local Law 97 requires all buildings over 25,000 square feet to meet strict carbon reduction goals, with the emission limits based on the occupancy type. By placing caps on their greenhouse gas emissions, the city aims to cut emissions 40% by 2030 and more than 80% by 2050. Starting in 2024, Local Law 97 will come into effect as buildings will need to keep track of their carbon emissions and submit an official annual report beginning May 1st, 2025.

Non-compliance with Local Law 97 and exceeding the allowable emission limits result in a substantial fine of $268 per metric ton. Additionally, failure to file a report will lead to a fee of $0.50 per square feet per month, and a false statement will lead to a fine of $500,000.

Because such a large part of the greenhouse gas emissions in NYC comes from generating electricity for lights and appliances and burning fossil fuels for heat and hot water in buildings, Local Law 97 must be as stringent as it is.

By following the guidelines of NYC Local Law 97, not only will carbon emissions be lowered, but the overall worth and assets of each building will increase as well. The Cotocon Group serves to help buildings be in compliance with Local Law 97, along with other local laws, in order for them to improve their efficiency and sustainability as well as benefit the environment.

Article published by Morain khan – SEO manager at DMC – a Digital marketing company. He is a blogger by passion and SEO by profession. Feel free to follow him on Twitter and LinkedIN.


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