New York announces $50m challenge to decarbonise high-rise buildings

A total of 10 real estate groups have been selected, with each company committing to achieving carbon neutrality in one or more buildings they own through investments in energy efficiency, electrification, energy storage and retrofit projects

The Big Zero report

A total of 10 real estate groups have been announced as partners in New York’s $50 million (£36m) challenge to establish public-private partnerships to decarbonise high-rise buildings across the state.

Each real estate group selected for the Empire Building Challenge has committed to achieving carbon neutrality in one or more buildings it owns through investments in energy efficiency, electrification, energy storage and retrofit projects.

They collectively control more than 130 million square feet of real estate in New York State, including more than 250 buildings that contain affordable housing.

Empire State Realty Trust, Rudin Management Company and Vornado Realty Trust have all committed to achieving carbon neutrality in their entire real estate portfolios, exceeding programme requirements.

Other participating companies include Beam Living, Hudson Square Properties – a joint venture between Trinity Church Wall Street, Norges Bank Investment Management and Hines – Jonathan Rose Companies, L+M Development Partners and Invesco, Omni New York, Silverstein Properties and The Durst Organisation.

They will choose technology and innovation experts to work with to develop a replicable low carbon retrofit solution proposal for addressing one or more barriers to achieving decarbonisation in their buildings.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said: “By transforming our state’s majestic high-rises into low carbon, sustainable structures using modern, energy efficient technology, New York is taking a tremendous leap forward in our fight against climate change.

“As part of this effort, we will work with our partners to identify ways to make buildings more climate friendly and collaboratively usher in carbon neutral buildings across the state, helping to create cleaner air and more energy efficient office space for the next generation of New Yorkers.”

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