Reducing Environmental Risk

What is Local Law 97 and why does it matter to NY real estate?

Most Americans are aware that a “Green New Deal” was proposed in Congress a few years back. Yet, far fewer Americans are aware of the fact that New York already passed Green New Deal legislation in 2019. One of the key elements of this broader plan to make the city carbon neutral in just over 25 years from now is Local Law 97, also known as LL97.

Local Law 97 was passed as part of the city’s 2019 Climate Mobilization Act. As a result of this new law, the majority of buildings that are larger than 25,000 square feet are required to meet initial energy efficiency and emissions standards by 2024 and even stricter standards by 2030. 

New carbon caps are affecting property owners

The city’s new carbon caps are going to affect approximately 50,000 commercial and residential buildings when the first set of standards becomes enforceable next year. As a result, thousands of property owners and real estate developers are in the process of adjusting their approaches in order to get up to Code.

This endeavor is often easier said than done and many property owners and developers are finding that the costs of compliance and the practical requirements of meeting the new standards are causing trouble. It is not surprising that a number of lawsuits related to energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction efforts are being played out all over the city, with more certain to come. 

Real estate stakeholders who have questions or concerns about LL97 and its implementation could benefit from seeking legal guidance proactively. Although it doesn’t feel like it at the height of summer, 2024 enforcement deadlines are right around the corner. 



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