New York City bans natural gas for new buildings

New York City bans natural gas for new buildings. 

The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to prohibit natural gas use in new construction. It follows the lead of numerous small U.S. cities seeking to switch from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources.

New construction in the largest U.S. city with 8.8 million inhabitants will need to run on electricity for heating and cooking, as per the council’s vote, which was streamed on the website.

“The legislation to prohibit the use of natural gas in new construction is expected to (help) us in our transition to a more green tomorrow to (reach) the goal of carbon-neutrality by 2050.” declared City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. 

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He also noted, “We face a climate emergency and must take all the necessary measures to combat climate change and safeguard Our city.”

In the short term, the new law is likely to not significantly reduce CO2 emissions from The Big Apple, as numerous older buildings are not affected. 

And new buildings will rely on energy generated from fossil fuels regardless. 

However, in the longer-term, carbon emissions will decrease because the state is planning to end fossil fuels to power its power plants.

The law will apply to any new building that is less than seven stories tall by the end of 2023 and exceeds seven stories by 2027. 

There are some exceptions for structures used for specific activities such as hospitals, manufacturing commercial kitchens, laundromats, and hospitals.

The most populous U.S. city that has prohibited gas from new construction has been San Jose in California, with around 1 million inhabitants.