Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Urban Green Council Releases Report Finding That Green Codes Task Force’s Recommendations Have Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Saved Energy

 By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP

On February 2, 2012, the Urban Green Council released a report finding that New York City is on track to meet its goal of lowering carbon emissions, energy consumption, and waste by following recommendations of the Green Codes Task Force.

The Task Force, which was created in 2008 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, consists of City officials and several hundred volunteers from architecture, public health, construction, real estate, organized labor, housing, and other fields.

The Task Force's recommendations cover revisions of City construction, fire, water, sewer, and zoning codes to incorporate a broad range of energy efficiency and environmental measures.

According to the report, the 29 recommendations adopted by the City to date will divert 100,000 tons of asphalt from landfills each year and, by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions citywide by 5 percent, lower the costs of lighting energy by 10 percent, save 30 billion gallons of water through better plumbing regulations, treat 15 million gallons of toxic construction water, and provide $400 million in savings.

Reprinted with permission from Green Building Law Update Service.

The Green Building Law Update Service is a 2011 LexisNexis Top 50 Blogs for Environmental Law & Climate Change winner.

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J. Cullen Howe is an environmental law specialist at Arnold & Porter LLP. Much of Cullen's work focuses on climate change, where he attempts to educate lawyers and the public at large on the enormous cooperation necessary to adequately address this problem. In addition to his work on climate change, Cullen is the managing editor of Environmental Law in New York, edits the Environmental Law Practice Guide, Brownfields Law and Practice, the Environmental Impact Review in New York, and has drafted chapters in the Environmental Law Practice Guide on climate change and green building. Mr. Howe is a graduate of Vermont Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Vermont Law Review, and a graduate of DePauw University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

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