The announcement was symbolically made on Earth's day (April, 22, 2019). Glass buildings are "incredibly inefficient" as a great proportion of the energy escapes through the glass. According to major Bill de Blasio, buildings are the primal cause of greenhouse emissions in the city. "The number one cause [of greenhouse gases] in this city is the buildings. It's not the cars, it's the buildings," he stated.
Existing glass structures must also reduce their environmental footprint by using clean energy (e.g. organics recycling and hydropower). Moreover, roofs on all new structures will include solar panels, wind turbines, plants or a combination of all three. All the measures will aim to reduce New York's greenhouse emissions by 30% and to close the city's 24 gas and oil plants by 2030.
"We're going to introduce legislation to ban the glass and steel skyscrapers that have contributed so much to global warming. They have no place in our city or on our earth anymore," Mr. de Blasio said.
The initiative is part of the city's policy that aligns with the Paris Climate Agreement, an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concerning greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, which was signed in 2016.
Owners will have to implement the alterations by 2014 or they will have to face penalty fees up to $1 million annually.
The major clarified that new glazed buildings could be constructed in the future as long as they align with the new modifications. "If a company wants to build a big skyscraper, they can use a lot of glass, if they do all the other things needed to reduce our emissions. But putting up monuments to themselves that harmed our earth and threatened our future, that will no longer be allowed in New York City," he commented.