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New York became the largest city in the United States to require green roofs when the City Council passed wide-ranging legislation called The Climate Mobilization Act passed April 18, 2019, the largest single act to cut climate pollution in any city in the world. CMA is a package of bills and resolutions that require new construction and existing buildings undergoing renovations to integrate green roofs, small wind turbines, and/or solar panels with the intent to cool the city, mitigate the effects of storms, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

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Sustainable Roofs for New Construction 

Two new laws passed as part of NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act, Local Laws 92 and 94, provide a major boost to the city’s sustainable roof policies. Together, the laws require solar panels or green roofs on all new construction as well as buildings undertaking major roof renovations. They also increase the roof reflectiveness required by the existing cool roofs law. This informative policy brief by the Nature Conservatory includes compliance pathways for sustainable roofing zones.

Access to Green Roof Information

Local Law 93 creates an office of alternative energy, which is required to provide a website of information and resources for the installation of green roofs.

Green Roof Tax Abatement Increase

Resolution 66 triples the existing tax break for property owners who install green roofs in high-priority areas, increasing the abatement from $5.23/sqft to $15/sqft of green space through 2024. 

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