The Green New Deal is now a driving force in climate politics. But up until now, it’s been mostly theoretical.

And then, in April, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that New York City is creating its own version of the plan. As part of the law, large commercial buildings will need to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and by 80 percent by 2050 — or face steep fines. 

After so much theorizing about the Green New Deal, we can finally see what happens when a resolution meets reality. 

And the impact, at least in the short term, is causing complications.

“No matter who I’ve spoken to, nobody’s disagreeing with the goals. It’s the application of how we benchmark. There are clearly buildings that can become vastly more efficient. But this legislation doesn’t prize density, it doesn’t prize efficiency, for some of our most modern buildings,” explains Paul Kuehn, sales director for distributed energy at Centrica Business Solutions.

Many building efficiency upgrades in the city are now stalling because of uncertainty around the law.

In this episode, we dive into New York’s new building emissions mandate. We’ll explore the short-term unintended consequences and the positive long-term impacts for clean energy. 

What can other cities — and eventually the entire country — learn from its complexities?

We’ll have a conversation with Paul Kuehn of Centrica Business Solutions and Aaron Miller, a partner at Gotham 360, about how the details may play out for New York City's Green New Deal.

This podcast was produced on behalf of Centrica Business Solutions. Centrica is using analytics, market know-how and distributed technologies to help C&I customers take control of their energy use and improve their environmental performance.