New York City Council passes historic legislation to ban new gas hookups citywide

Wednesday December 15, 2021

New York City has set global benchmark for how cities should cut climate pollution and move to 100% clean buildings

NEW YORK CITY - On Wednesday, Dec. 15, the New York City Council voted to approve Intro 2317, which is legislation that will eliminate fracked gas hookups and use in new development citywide. Combined with Local Law 97, which was enacted in 2019 to address emissions from large, existing buildings, New York City’s new law will now spur the boldest shift away from fossil fuels in buildings by any city in the United States.

In response to the New York City Council’s vote, international environmental advocacy group Stand.earth’s SAFE Cities movement made the following statement, which can be attributed to SAFE Cities Community Manager Anne Pernick:

“From coast to coast across the U.S. and in Canada, the past two years have seen a dramatic expansion in the number of local governments leading by taking action to electrify buildings. Their policies eliminate hookups for gas appliances that create indoor air pollution on par with the risks of secondhand smoke. More than 50 communities in California have these local laws on the books, as well as Denver, Vancouver, B.C., a burgeoning wave in Pacific Northwest communities, and more. The international building electrification movement has grown in strength and number.

New York stands out even in this vanguard. Combining the City Council’s new law with the measures of Local Law 97, New York City is the first in the U.S., and one of the first in the world, to pass policies for both new and existing buildings. SAFE Cities applauds the leadership of the bill’s champion Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel and the local groups that led the advocacy for its passage, including New York Communities for Change, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, NYPIRG, and Food & Water Watch. Stand.earth’s SAFE Cities team and our NYC community worked alongside these and other groups and are proud to have helped get this bill across the finish line. 

And not a moment too soon. Gas-powered stoves, heating systems, and other appliances are fueling the climate crisis and creating unacceptable indoor air pollution risks for children, families, vulnerable adults, and seniors. As the deadly, costly, and worsening global impacts of the climate crisis bore down on New York City and the world in 2021, it became abundantly clear that there’s no more time to waste on protecting climate, health, and safety by phasing out fossil fuels. SAFE Cities looks forward to working with New York City and local advocates to implement this new law, protect Local Law 97, and pass additional policies including an endorsement of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. We celebrate the example New York City has set today on phasing out fossil fuels and call on local jurisdictions across the country and around the world to follow suit,” Pernick said.