Councilman wants New York City offices to turn their lights off

Lighting Sustainability Urbanism
New York City at night. (Flickr / Luke Redmond)

New York City at night. (Flickr / Luke Redmond)

As part of New York City‘s quest to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, Queens councilman Donovan Richards has introduced legislation that would force commercial buildings to switch their lights off after their occupants head home.

The Daily News explained that the councilman’s bill would limit light usage in 40,000 buildings across the city. Under this legislation, if those buildings don’t flip the switch, they will be fined $1,000.

Richards said he got the idea for his turn-the-lights-off-bill after visiting Paris which enacted a similar measure in 2012. While Richards can’t quantify the exact impact of his legislation, the Paris plan removed about a quarter million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the air.

The next question is obviously: What happens to New York City’s skyline at night? Well, not much said Richards. He told Capital New York that the legislation would not apply to “iconic landmarked locations and buildings and zoned areas.” The same goes for small business and storefronts, holiday displays, and buildings that need lights for security.

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