How Does NYS’s New Climate Plan Affect Your Commercial Building Plans?

How Does NYS’s New Climate Plan Affect Your Commercial Building Plans?

New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (NY CLCPA) calls for measures to achieve reductions in energy use by:

  • Transitioning water and heating to electricity.
  • Establishing appliance efficiency standards.
  • Instituting stronger building energy codes.
  • Requiring annual building energy benchmarking.
  • Expanding the ability of state facilities to use performance contracting.
  • Requiring the disclosure of energy efficiency in home sales.

At this point, it is unclear whether the Department of Environmental Conservation or a different state agency will use the Act to impose more rigorous efficiency standards on existing buildings.

What Is New York State Doing About Climate Change?

New York State has several policies and programs in place that focus on renewable energy sources, greenhouse gas reduction, and statewide climate planning to promote low energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and prepare against climate change. CLCPA is one of the plans.


The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act was passed in June 2019 to adopt measures to allow the state to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050. It is considered one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world. It establishes a Climate Action Council, which will be guided by the legal requirements contained in the Act.

What Does the CLCPA Do?

In addition to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the CLCPA intends to direct a large portion of the program’s benefits toward historically disadvantaged communities determined by a myriad of factors such as socioeconomic, environmental hazards, and public health. The Act also plans to create community air monitoring programs to work on the community level to monitor air quality standards and pollutant levels. This addresses issues of air quality in communities affected by local air pollution and ensures that pollutants are eliminated first in disadvantaged communities.

Why Was the CLCPA Enacted?

This bill was passed to set the state on a path to net zero emissions across all sectors of the economy. The CLCPA timeline hopes to have 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040. New York wishes to lead the way in protecting our communities and economy from the dangerous realities of climate change.

What Is the Scoping Plan?

The Scoping Plan is a project created by the Climate Action Council that will set out recommendations for reducing emissions across all sectors of the economy, such as transportation, building, industrial, commercial, and agricultural sectors. The plan is revised and updated every five years to adapt to changing needs of the state.

The Scoping Plan will help inform regulatory agencies as a part of the state’s overall energy plan. According to CLCPA section 7(2), state agencies will need to confirm their actions are in accordance with the goals of reducing greenhouse gasses, or otherwise be able to explain and justify the need for those decisions and have alternate plans in place that can be taken to reduce greenhouse gasses.

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