Committee on Environmental Protection, Testimony for Intro 1947 (Expanding the GND in NYC)
My name is Jessica Haller, I am a Leader with the Climate Reality Project and VC of the Board of Hazon, and I’m a candidate for New York City Council in District 11 in the NW Bronx.
I am speaking to you today in support of Intro 1947, which will help us expand LL97 and contribute to our economic recovery from the coronavirus. Intro 1947 works with existing tenant-protection laws and LL97 by expanding the number of buildings that are required to meet reductions in emissions, in whatever ways they can.
This bill will mean new jobs for New Yorkers in hands-on work for designing, constructing, and renovating retro-fitting the affected buildings. It also represents a step toward fighting the climate crisis. In New York City, our buildings are responsible for more than two-thirds of total GHG emissions, adding to the heat-island effect and poor air quality. This air quality in turn contributes to so many of our health problems, asthma, respiratory distress, and heat deaths — especially in low income, high heat vulnerability neighborhoods. As many health authorities have noted, air pollution in many communities hardest hit by coronavirus contributed to complications and the high death toll. In fact, this science dates back to the 1918 flu pandemic, when communities living near coal plants had higher mortality rates from flu due to lower air quality. Intro 1947 will improve the efficiency of buildings and the quality of life of millions of low-income tenants. The inclusion of buildings with 35% or more affordable housing units ensures that tenants will not bear the brunt of the cost.
Last year the State Legislature passed the CLCPA, Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandating an 85% reduction in GHG emissions across the state by 2050 (among other mandates). Intro 1947 is just one more step we need to take to address this issue for us in the city and to achieve the State’s goals.