The Real Deal New York

Just two percent of NYC buildings make half the city’s CO2 pollution: report

Luxury condos do their part
June 30, 2018 09:00AM

The penthouse apartment at the Baccarat Residences

One57, 15 Central Park West, the Baccarat Hotel and Residences—they’re all known for their well-heeled residents and sweeping views. They may also now be known for besmirching Manhattan with climate-changing emissions, according to a new report.

A consortium of advocacy groups including New York Communities for Change analyzed public electricity use data and concluded that just two percent of the city’s buildings produce almost half of the total carbon dioxide emissions. Many of the offenders were luxury condominium towers.

The median energy use intensity for a multifamily building in New York is 125 kilo British thermal units (kBtu) per square foot. That larger buildings create more emissions is no mystery, but some soaring condos go above and beyond, such as One57 (287) and the Baccarat Hotel and Residences (386), according to the report.

The groups authoring the report want the city to mandate an 80 percent emissions and energy use cut by 2050, the Huffington Post reported. They singled out the real estate lobby as one potential obstacle, which Real Estate Board of New York president John Banks called “ironic.”

“Compared to other global cities, New York is among the cleanest and greenest with respect to sustainability,” he said. “This is due, in part, to the strides that have been made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by buildings.” [Huffington Post] — Will Parker