Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul, joined by President Bill Clinton and Mayor Eric Adams, announced “The Empire Building Playbook: An Owner’s Guide to Low Carbon Retrofits” — a free online resource to support building owners advancing carbon neutrality in high rise buildings. The Playbook was created in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Empire State Realty Trust, The Durst Organization, Hudson Square Properties, a joint venture comprised of Trinity Church Wall Street, Norges Bank Investment Management, and Hines, and Vornado. This joint venture is four of ten real estate partners participating in New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s $50 million Empire Building Challenge. This guiding framework includes information from the partners who share their processes and lessons learned to develop the business case for profitable investment in significant energy and carbon reducing technologies, in support of the State’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal of reducing carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050.
VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor’s Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
Tony said welcome to the world’s most famous building, I say welcome to New York’s energy future. And as goes New York, goes the nation and goes the world. It’s all about leadership and what you’re experiencing and witnessing here today is the manifestation of true believers. People who thought there could be a different way to go forward. And that is what we’re here to celebrate today.
So thank you, Tony, for being a part of this story, this incredible New York success story and not just being the caretaker of your family’s legacy, this beautiful building that everyone across the world knows, but also what you have done in your time as CEO to say, we can always do better and let’s in the process, celebrate this building, but also talk about the future for our children and our grandchildren. And so I thank you.
I also thank Eric Adams, our Mayor here, because this is all about relationships and partnerships. New York State cannot go it alone. Most of the large buildings we’re talking about are in the city of New York. So you need to have a synergy between our teams working together. And that has not been always the story of the past, but it is the story of the present and the future. So thank you, Mayor Adams for joining us here today as well.
Also Doreen Harris, stand up and take a round of applause because you are the driving force behind what we’re doing here today.
Also, Senior Vice President Janet Joseph dedicated your life to this, retiring after 30 years. Although I haven’t signed any paperwork, so I’m not sure we’ll let you go. We have a lot more buildings to take care of before you can retire.
But you know, think about having the president here, President Clinton our 42nd President, he set this course of action in place about 2007, 2009. We’ll talk about the inspiration for why he decided that we could do things differently.
And the support of the Clinton Global Initiative and the climate initiative is really, again, a partnership that we needed to have to get this even further today. So I want to thank him for understanding, yes, it’s always about the economy, I won’t say the next word, but you know what I’m going to say, it is about the economy and how we can also have a clean energy future that creates jobs and creates opportunities for people.
So I think that, yes, we’re here to announce the Empire Building Playbook. I literally wanted to bring you a copy of the playbook and hold it up. But I’m told nobody touches real paper anymore, except me perhaps. So you’ll have to go online and print down your own. Look at your own playbook. But this was made possible by NYSERDA and a $50 million Empire Building Challenge.
And that is why we’re putting money where we believe it needs to be spent. This is just the beginning. We’re going to make sure that we continue these partnerships. Well, let’s talk about, you know, what this is all about. And you heard in more tactical terms that I’m going to speak about. You heard from Tony exactly what this looks like, but I’m interested in these numbers.
When we convert, I’m not saying if, when we convert all buildings here in the city of New York to follow this playbook, it’ll have an economic impact of $20 billion while creating 100,000 jobs. I like the sound of that. Let’s give that a round of applause.
That is what will happen if all businesses understand their moral responsibility to be caretakers of not just the buildings that they oversee and participate in the landlords, the tenants, but also the responsibility to Mother Earth going forward. And so, that’s an economic impact. It also helps us achieve our goals to reduce our carbon footprint by 80% in the year 2030.
Yes, it sounds bold. Yes, it sounds audacious, and it sounds very New York. That’s what we do here. We set high goals and we will achieve them. And no building has more of a potential impact on our desire to show people the way than this building right here. And our real estate partners in this challenge control over 700 buildings. The 700 buildings you see when you look out these windows, one of the most spectacular views in the world. That’s 115 million square feet of real estate. Imagine the impact on our climate, what we could address in that very space, it’s extraordinary.
In New York, we have the most ambitious renewable energy or emission reduction plan goals across the country. I understood there was someone from California here. Sorry, California we’ve beaten you once again. You can challenge me on that, I’m very competitive. 70% of our electricity via renewables for 2030, 85% reductions of emissions by 2050. So, also we have a plan for other areas of our dynamic, our element. I was literally Governor for about a month last fall, when it was Climate Week at United Nations. And I look out and I see the United Nations outside my offices on Third Avenue. So I was thinking about what we can do that was really bold and would be attention-getting.
And there was a plan to have about $3 billion of a Bond Act. Sounds great, but I come from the philosophy of go big or go home. As a result of the budget that just passed weeks ago, that Bond Act has been increased to $4.2 billion, and be on the ballot this November, we need all your support to get people out there to support it. That’s for the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act, the largest in our nation’s history. We’re also nation-leading in terms of offshore wind. This is so exciting. I have declared, therefore it will be, that New York State is the offshore wind capital of the world. And Europe, that’s another question, but certainly in our country, and we’re doing it right on Long Island.
You’re going to see wind turbines, actually you won’t, they’re 30 miles off, that was important, you’re not going to see the wind turbines, but know they’re there, when you’re flying overhead, you’re about to land at JFK, wave to the wind turbines, because nobody on shore, I promise, is going to see them. $500 million, we put $500 million on the table to make that happen.
But also the supply chain. Where are the supplies coming? Are they coming from Germany? No, they’re coming from the port of Albany, literally at the port of Albany. Following the path that Henry Hudson followed in a 1600s. Bringing down products made by New York labor. New York labor, building them there and shipping them down the Hudson.
And you’re going to not see them off the shores Long Island. I’m going to get in trouble here.
And last week, I was so proud of this. At the time we were talking about our plans for bringing more energy to the city, to replace fossil fuel enterprises, as well as nuclear. There was a plan to bring power from Hydro-Quebec down the Champlain, a lot of people supported this. But there was a competing plan to bring in wind and solar from Delaware county. So two great plans and Governor, which one do you like? I like them both. Let’s do both. We got that done last week. The public service commission approved both plans, nation-leading and bold as it can get.
So, we are committed to getting this right. You have the playbook, you have no excuses and you have history awaiting your actions here today. I grew up in an area that was a toxic dump, 30 miles from Love Canal, Lackawanna, New York, where I was born. I grew up thinking that the skies were orange because that’s all I saw with the discharge building off from the steel plant where my dad and grandpa worked. Bethlehem Steel, orange skies.
You literally couldn’t see going over some of the bridges. And then the water, we literally swam in Lake Erie. When everything was floating and it was creepy, but no one knew better. It’s amazing I’m still alive when I think about that but that’s another story. We saw what happened. We were able to turn the trajectory, that water is pristine now. The air is clean. We made a difference because we made a decision.
That is the decision we’re making here today my friends. We’re making a decision that the largest climate polluters we know, are not those factories anymore, they’re buildings. So we tackle the buildings, we solve the planet crisis and it began in a room like this right here today. And all of you were part of it. Congratulations.