Arup Fellow Fiona Cousins appointed to the New York City Climate Advisory Board
Buildings currently account for approximately two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, and the Mayor has pledged that the city will be carbon neutral by 2050. The Climate Advisory Board (CMA) was enacted by Local Law 97, one of the most ambitious plans for reducing emissions in New York City. This landmark package of new and aggressive mandates reflects the urgent nature of the issue they aim to address. Other provisions of the CMA aimed at reducing emissions from buildings include establishing an Office of Sustainability within the Department of Buildings (DOB), requiring most new building projects to have solar panels or a green roof covering 100% of unoccupied roof space, and requiring all buildings over 25,000 square feet to post energy efficiency grade signs by mid-2020.
Local Law 97 sets a strong, new context for reducing NYC’s carbon emissions, in particular through work in existing buildings, which have long proved difficult to modify and upgrade to reach their best possible performance. It reinforces New York’s leadership position on climate mobilization across the nation and it will be important to set rules that create the best possible results through clarity of objectives and coherence with other regulations and I am looking forward to engaging in that work. ” Fiona Cousins Americas Digital Services Leader
The Local Law 97 Advisory Board is chaired by DOB’s Chief Sustainability Officer, and comprised of 16 appointees, with eight appointments made by Mayor de Blasio, and eight appointments made by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. The Board members are architects, engineers, property owners, representatives from the business sector and public utilities, environmental justice advocates, and tenant advocates. In addition to providing guidance, the Advisory Board is also required to prepare and submit periodic reports on the results of implementation once the law is fully in effect.
Cousins helps lead the sustainability, building engineering and data strategies teams in Arup’s New York office. Also, as one of Arup’s global digital leaders, she is passionate about applying the best in digital technology to increase collaboration and create solutions that support a more sustainable future. Cousins is a mechanical engineer by profession and has spent much of her career engaged in HVAC design, with an area of specialization in thermal comfort and energy efficiency. She has extensive project experience, including the design of museums, archives, trading floors, laboratories, libraries and performing art centers.