New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) mandates 100 percent zero-emissions electricity by 2040 and economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. That means that billions of square feet of New York buildings have 28 years to wean off the fossil fuel combustion and fossil-fueled steam that heat the majority of the building stock today. For many buildings, that translates to roughly one asset replacement cycle, and buildings that simply replace today’s fossil fuel equipment with newer versions of the same will not be in compliance with Climate Act mandates before the equipment reaches the end of its lifetime. [...]
This Insight Brief recommends that air agencies address appliance pollution and help guide an equitable transition to a pollution-free buildings future. These agencies have authority to set zero-emissions standards for new appliances, which can be designed equitably and in coordination with other decision makers’ building electrification efforts. This can help catalyze the policies and investments needed for an inclusive, affordable transition away from fossil fuels in our homes and buildings toward an all-electric future.