What is local law 97?

Introduced in 2019, Local Law 97 aims to incentivize the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions generated by New York City real estate.

For real estate owners, investors and operators in New York City, Local Law 97 is a very familiar concept. Introduced in 2019, Local Law 97 aims to achieve ambitious goals with stringent deadlines and steep fines to help facilitate a reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions generated by New York City real estate.

According to The UN, the real estate sector is responsible for about 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. And in New York City, buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. This means that the real estate industry is a huge contributor to global warming, but it also means that in very dense areas of real estate, the health and well-being of the population and wildlife is compromised.


For New York City, the problem has become too large to ignore. With the introduction of Local law 97, the government is aiming for drastic changes, starting with a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030, and an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.


With 2030 being 6 years away, and with significant changes to be made, fines and deadlines begin this year.

From 2024, buildings over 25,000 gross square feet (with some exceptions), must meet new energy and efficiency limits, or else be fined 268 USD per ton of CO₂ over the limit. The buildings must submit a report by May 1st, 2025.  

Here are some ways you can start to reduce emissions in your building: 

  • Calculate your building’s current emissions. This will help you understand the emissions you need to eliminate to comply with the law and help you to understand what areas you need to improve.
  • Research smart energy efficiency strategies and solutions. You could take inspiration from green buildings all over the world to see what solutions they implemented and how it has helped them lower their emissions.
  • Invest in new, clean energy solutions like solar panels. The initial price might be steep, but smart buildings are much more attractive to owners and tenants.
  • Research and invest in prop tech. Property technology is all about making processes more efficient, and oftentimes more sustainable. For example, at Defigo, we make use of existing technology that most people already own, such as smart phones, reducing how many plastic access cards need to be made, while making property access much easier!

To read more about Local Law 97, visit the New York City government website.

To find out more about Defigo, visit our product page.

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