New York City to ban gas hook-ups in new buildings

New York City to ban gas hook-ups in new buildings
New buildings under seven storeys must go electric by end of 2023

New York City is set to ban gas hook-ups in new construction in the near future.

New legislation will require buildings under seven storeys to go electric by the end of 2023. Larger buildings, of more than seven storeys, must meet the requirement by 1 July, 2027, in a citywide effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Construction projects that have permits approved before those dates will be exempt, according to New York real estate site The Real Deal.

Negotiations over the bill ran late into the night on Tuesday. A final vote by the city council is anticipated next Thursday.

The bill was introduced by council member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, who represents the Brownsville, Ocean Hill, Bedford Stuyvesant and East Flatbush areas of Brooklyn. With 26 co-sponsors from the 51-seat council, and further support expected from other council members, the bill is practically guaranteed to pass.

The so-called “Introduction 2317” also has support from New York’s outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Council speaker Corey Johnson, according to campaigners with the #GasFreeNYC coalition.

In a statement, the coalition said that New York has set a precedent for other cities and states to follow, despite “industry efforts to weaken it”. (ExxonMobil recently ran Facebook ads against the bill targeting New Yorkers, Time reported).

“As climate action stalls at the federal and international level, New York City is leading the way on fighting climate change, cutting air pollution, and creating good jobs,” the coalition said.

The group referenced the impacts of Hurricane Ida, which wreaked havoc on the city in September, as “a painful reminder that delaying climate action is lethal for New Yorkers”.

At least 43 people died in New York City and the surrounding areas during a storm which brought dangerous flash-flooding and high winds. Scientists have long warned that the climate crisis is fuelling more powerful and destructive storms.

The coalition also called on New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature to pass a bill introduced earlier this year that would end fossil fuel use in new construction across the entire state.

More and more municipalities are making the transition away from fossil fuels. Since 2019, more than 50 cities in California have committed to clean-energy in new construction.

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