Recently, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have advocated for a more rigorous plan of action to reduce New York’s contribution to greenhouse gas and carbon emissions that exacerbate climate change. The state has announced a multi-pronged “New York Green New Deal” to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with legislation, including the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA) and the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. These acts are extremely ambitious with their goals, and work to achieve them by placing stringent regulations on carbon emissions while funding R&D into energy efficient technology. For more: New York Climate Change Legislation
One of the central regulations the plan implements regards large commercial and municipal buildings in the city, since they account for about 70% of the state’s total emissions. More specifically, the CMA places an emissions cap on buildings over 25,000 square feet in size, pushing them to retrofit the buildings with energy efficient technology or risk paying a large fine. Most legislators and discussion leaders focus on increasing the availability and efficiency of renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, hydropower, and solar panels to reduce large buildings’ carbon emissions. While these solutions may aid in mitigating climate change, they are currently not sophisticated enough to reach the ambitious “net-zero emissions by 2050” goal, and fail to provide the rapid results demanded by the CMA. Instead, government officials and building managers should turn to already-existing, cost-effective Cleantech solutions with proven results. Rather than trying to completely replace non-renewable energy with alternative power sources (an improbable feat), they should use technology that maximizes energy efficiency while reducing pollution, waste, and emissions. The rapid action solutions the new legislation demands lies in retrofitting commercial buildings with LED lighting and optimizing commercial air conditioning. Independence LED, a leading innovator in Cleantech lighting, offers numerous environmentally friendly LED light fixtures that greatly reduce energy waste while providing a high return on investment (ROI), making them a cost-effective solution for commercial buildings. The Energy Intelligence Center, a pioneer in commercial air conditioning optimization, provides a smart algorithm that constantly monitors environmental factors and adjusts air conditioning systems to maintain peak performance level at all times. The technology’s proven results show low energy waste, high efficiency, low cost, and high returns. These Cleantech solutions are integral in order for commercial buildings to meet New York’s strict emission regulations in the short-run.
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act states that along with decreasing carbon emissions by 85% to reach the 100% energy efficient goal by 2050, the other 15% will be covered by funding reforestation, carbon capturing, and nature restoration projects. Replenishing the nature and bolstering the environment is a noble solution and will certainly help to reduce climate change, but legislators are overlooking other indirect sources of carbon emissions regarding nature and agriculture. Much of the air and water pollution results from industrial transportation of food (fruits and vegetables) from remote farms to consumers. This practice consumes copious amounts of fossil fuels and takes away from the state’s own agricultural economy. By funding a shift to local indoor farming, New York can greatly reduce their carbon footprint by decreasing transportation emissions, while allowing its citizens to benefit from fresh, local grown food. Indoor farming using LED Grow Lights promotes year-round farming, farm-to-table consumer practices, higher crop yields, and job creation. Indoor agriculture with LED Grow Lights has so much untapped potential to restore the environment and reduce carbon emissions to fulfill New York’s net-zero emissions goal.
Along with achieving New York’s climate change goals, these Cleantech solutions will improve the state’s economy, create jobs, preserve industries, and promote American-made goods. In the Democratic Presidential Debate on Tuesday July 30, Senator Elizabeth Warren advocated funding innovation of American-made technology to combat climate change. Independence LED lighting and LED Grow Lights are innovative Made in America products and are Buy American Act (BAA) compliant. They are already creating American jobs and supporting the US economy, so by employing these technologies as part of New York’s carbon emissions solution, the state will improve America as a whole.