NY Climate Tech: June 26 - July 3
Upholding Local Law 97, the future of food, CDR happy hours, and a field trip to your favorite compost site!
One of our favorite parts of the ever-growing climate tech community in the Big Apple is your desire to connect the dots between technology and policy, and how we can collectively be a voice for climate action across the five boroughs and beyond.
Today, we’re excited to bring you a guest post from Pete Sikora from New York Communities for Change on how you can get involved in upholding Local Law 97, New York City’s signature building decarbonization law that’s set to go into effect in 2024. Climate tech startups across New York are developing new technologies to address building emissions, creating new jobs, and tackling these challenges head on. Some of our favorites include Thalo Labs, Aeroseal, Flair, Sealed, and more. Sign a petition, call your local elected officials, and get involved!
In the meantime, here are our picks for climate events this week:
Consume all your favorite content on the 🍗 Future Food-Tech on Tuesday + Wednesday, and the 🥬 Indoor Agtech Innovation Summit on Thursday + Friday, with alternative proteins, vertical farming, and everything in between.
On Thursday, head over to the 🍻 NYCDR Happy Hour, a special edition with the Carbon2Value cohort and the Urban Future Lab.
Curious where your compost ends up? Go on a field trip this Saturday and find out at the 💩 Red Hook Compost Site Tour!
As always, scroll on down for the full list of events!
The NY Climate Tech Team
It’s time to step up for Local Law 97
Guest Post By Pete Sikora
NYC Local Law 97 is the world’s most-important city-level climate and jobs law, and it needs your help. It requires large buildings - the bulk of NYC’s real estate square footage - to slash their pollution. The on-site energy efficiency upgrades that the law induces will create tens of thousands of jobs and massive capital investment.
However, Local Law 97 is seriously threatened by special interests seeking to weaken it. They want Mayor Eric Adams to loosen the law’s requirements and enforcement, gutting New York City’s world-leading climate policy and affecting dozens of startups and thousands of new jobs.
Read on to learn more about LL97 and find out what you can do to help.
tl;dr: Want to make a huge impact on the climate? LL97 is the most important policy on building emissions in the world and an example for cities everywhere. Sign the petition and call your elected officials today to ensure LL97 is enforced without loopholes—as a local law, your voice really matters.
Call: The Mayor’s Office Climate Team at (212) 346-5764. Leave a message about your concerns.
Call: Your Local Councilmember, find him/her here
Sign the Petition: Show your support on the dotted line
Post on Social Media: #TechForLocalLaw97
What is NYC Local Law 97?
Also known as NYC’s “Green New Deal” law, Local Law 97 of 2019 requires large buildings over 25,000 square feet to cut their climate-heating pollution below specific limits for their building type. The law’s first requirement takes hold in 2024 and applies through 2029. As you can see in the chart below, 80% of large buildings already meet that benchmark.
However, the law’s pollution limits get substantially tighter in 2030. Overall, the limits require pollution reductions from large buildings at the pace needed to avoid global climate catastrophe: over 40% pollution cuts by 2030 and over 80% by 2050. The law’s requirements are backed by financial penalties for buildings that don’t cut emissions.
Buildings account for 30-40% of global GHG emissions, and even more as a percentage of NYC’s footprint. Taking action is critical, and as these charts show, something that can be done in a measured, reasonable way. Check out the Urban Green Council’s informational page on Local Law 97 for more details.
There’s a lot of work to get done!
Why is Local Law 97 Under Attack?
Much of the city’s real estate community is not entirely thrilled with the law’s requirements, as upgrades require up-front capital, even if they save money in the long term. They want the Mayor to delay the law’s financial penalties, but without fines, building owners won’t comply with the law. The Mayor can and will make these decisions soon through a rule-making process, which is the city’s version of setting regulations into place. The rules implementing the law are vitally important.
It would be a tragedy for the city if special interests succeed in getting the Mayor to defang Local Law 97. If building owners don’t feel the heat to invest in their buildings to increase energy efficiency, then many billions of dollars of investment won’t happen. LL97 has created a new market, with startups and new technologies coming to help fill the gap. The city would lose tens of thousands of jobs in design, assessment, technology, renovation and construction, as well as its position as a global leader in climate policy.
Ending energy waste through higher efficiency is a major value opportunity to reduce energy bills, cut pollution, and build a green economy. Many or even most buildings that upgrade to higher energy efficiency to satisfy Local Law 97’s requirements will save money on their bills. But if the law is weakened, they won’t feel the need to upgrade—inertia is a powerful force.
It’s time for the climate-tech community to get active on this vital issue. In the next few weeks, the Adams Administration is expected to make the key regulatory decisions defining the law’s enforcement and other provisions. It’s vital that the Mayor fully implement and enforce Local Law 97, not undermine it by opening up loopholes through which building owners could - and would - evade their obligations to cut pollution from their buildings.
Please take a moment now to take some simple actions:
Post on Twitter and LinkedIn to urge Mayor Adams to fully implement and enforce Local Law 97. Use hashtag #TechForLocalLaw97
Sample post: “@NYCMayor #LocalLaw97 will create 10s of 1000s of good-paying jobs, reduce climate pollution, improve public health & help cement #NYC as a global #climate & #climatetech leader – fully implement & enforce #LL97 w/no delays & no weakening #TechForLocalLaw97”
Call and Leave a Message for the Mayor’s Key Staff and your local City Council Members. Let your elected officials know that Local Law 97 must be fully implemented and enforced and the opportunities it creates for the local climate tech ecosystem. Feel free to use the draft call script below. The Mayor’s Office Climate Team can be reached at (212) 346-5764 and the you can find your local City Councilmember here.
Draft call script: Mention that you are a constituent; briefly state the nature of your work; and then, “I am a strong supporter of Local Law 97. I work in climate tech and believe we need to take dramatic climate action now. It’s vital for the city to fully implement and enforce Local Law 97. It is already fostering new startups and will create tens of thousands of well paid jobs, reduce climate pollution, improve public health, and help cement NYC as a global climate and climate-tech leader. I’m strongly opposed to any weakening of the law through any loopholes that would allow large building owners to evade cutting pollution from their properties.” And obviously feel free to emphasize specific ways in which the law is relevant to your work/business if applicable!
Sign a Petition and Stay Involved: Like organizing with friends? Go to this landing page to Support Local Law 97 created by the tech community! Lots more action items coming there, so please do follow the link, pledge your support, and join the mailing list. Together, we’re going to win the fight for this transformational law and help lead the way forward on global climate action at scale.
This is one of the most important things you can do for the growth of the climate tech industry in New York. Our voices really do matter. Don’t save this email for later: take a few minutes and do this now—it will have an outsized impact on New York and cities looking to us as an example throughout the world.
The Climate Solutions Piloting Program is a new call for piloting and demonstration projects addressing climate mitigation, climate adaptation, and climate and environmental justice. The program is led by the Trust for Governors Island’s new Living Lab as part of the Center for Climate Solutions, dedicated to preparing New York City and cities around the world for climate change. Applications for the Climate Solutions Challenge, a recurring summer challenge with new themes and a $10,000 cash prize, are due by August 15, 2023. This year’s theme, “Water Abundance,” seeks proposals addressing how water can help to power climate solutions that grow blue and green jobs and create healthier communities.
Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley uses materials collected from beaches in the northeastern United States to tell a tale of both local pollution and global marine devastation. Go see this amazing exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum before it closes on July 16. Get tickets.
Events This Week
🌱 How to Start a Sustainable Life? by Closiist: Mon, Jun 26
🍗 Future Food-Tech: Alternative Proteins: Tue, Jun 27 & Wed, Jun 28
🏗️ Future-Proofing New Construction: Thu, Jun 29
🥬 Indoor Agtech Innovation Summit: Thu, Jun 29 & Fri, Jun 30
Read on for more details about this week’s happenings and upcoming events this month
Events This Month
🌳 NYASG Summer Soiree: Tue, Jul 11
🥗 FoodHack NYC Meet Up: Advances in Agriculture: Wed, Jul 12
⚡️ DER Taskforce NYC Happy Hour: Wed, Jul 12
🍻 Green Drinks Brooklyn: Wed, Jul 19
Events This Week
When: Mon, Jun 26th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: Frenchy Coffee NYC, 129E East 102nd Street, New York, NY 10029
Join us for an engaging and informative event on sustainable living! At "Living Green: Embracing Sustainability," we will explore practical ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into your daily life. Our expert speakers will share valuable insights and tips on topics such as energy conservation, waste reduction, sustainable transportation, ethical consumption, and more.
When: Tue, Jun 27th and Wed, Jun 28th
Where: New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Future Food-Tech connects the entire value chain from around the world to map out the future of protein. Join us in New York on June 27-28 to meet with 700+ founders, investors and food brands pioneering alternative proteins.
When: Thu, Jun 29th from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Where: Circa Brewing Co, 141 Lawrence St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Join our our bimonthly NYCDR Community Happy Hour for some well deserved drinks and new connections as we continue to bring together the rapidly growing carbon management community in New York! This time, we'll have the chance to meet with C2V's Year 3 Cohort (tba June 21) who will be in town, as well as the wider Urban Future Lab community of climate tech startups and partners.
When: Thu, Jun 29th from 10:00 PM to 11:30 PM
Join Urban Green Council and NYC Accelerator to learn about resources available to help the new construction community navigate compliance requirements under Local Laws 92/94, 97 and 154, and future energy codes. Learn from industry experts about design practices and cutting-edge technology to future-proof your building for regulations and codes. We’ll connect you to resources to help you comply with current and future requirements and contribute to a sustainable future for NYC.
When: Thu, Jun 29th and Fri, Jun 30th
Where: New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
Join 500 world-leading growers, retailers, investors, seed companies and technology providers at Indoor Agtech to explore how to put CEA at the center of sustainable food supply.
When: Sat, Jul 1st from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Where: Red Hook Community Farm, 103 Otsego St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Join us for a tour of Red Hook Compost Site at Red Hook Farms to learn about the history and current operations of the largest fossil fuel free compost site in the country. We manage 20,000 square feet of space with solar power and human power composting on farm with outdoor windrows, tumblers, and 4 ASP pipes.
Join the Fun!
We know all of you are cooking up great events across that highlight the latest and greatest in our collective effort to save our city - and our planet! 🌍 We would love to spread the word. Please share any event details and we'll add them to the list!
We are expanding! We started as an 8-person dinner and now have over 7,000 members in our community. We’ve had people across the world reach out to us to start their own chapters - so we’re launching a new Climate Tech Cities organization this year! If you have friends who are interested in becoming chapter leads, please share the word. Here’s to a global network of local communities making a positive impact!
Climate Tech Cities and Streetlife Ventures are launching new platforms to support climate founders, funders, and career transitioners! There is no shortage of great companies raising money for their groundbreaking ideas, great investors looking to support with capital, and great talent living the mantra that every job is a climate job. Streetlife Ventures, co-founded by Climate Tech Cities’ very own Sonam Velani, is excited to support these efforts across our community. We can’t wait to hear from you!