The buildings owned by Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner in New York City are some of least energy efficient in the city, according to a recent report released by ALIGN. These new findings make Trump and Kushner’s buildings some of the main polluters of NYC in terms of buildings, not that this may come as a surprise given the President’s vocal lack of concern regarding environmental issues.
ALIGN executive director, Maritza Silva-Farrell, identifies the pair as “the biggest polluters of our city” and opines that they must be taken on by the public to ensure a reduction of their emissions. Her alarmed reaction is not unfounded considering that, according to city data, 73% of the emissions related to global warming in the city result from heating, cooling, and powering, large buildings.
As of now, there are no strict legislative regulations in the city regarding this—there are simply volunteer-based programs that focus on diminishing emissions; which is why Silva-Farrell is pushing for legally enforceable rules. She advocates that, “it is really important to require these kinds of owners to reduce their emissions and create clean air for our communities.” Silva-Farrell and the rest of the ALIGN team believe this is an essential component for tangible change to happen in terms of making NYC greener.
While the report released by ALGIN did not explicitly rate the buildings in terms of their role as polluters of NYC, it was found that the buildings owned by Trump and Kushner consume far more energy than similar buildings. For instance, the report found that Trump Tower uses more energy than 93% of the city’s big residential buildings, and the Trump-owned hotel-to-condo conversion Mayfair uses more energy than 98% of large multifamily buildings in the city. Meanwhile, Trump International Hotel on Columbus Circle and Trump Soho use more energy than 70% and 79% of large hotels in NYC, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, the request for a comment was ignored by a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization.
The report also included data on 666 Fifth Avenue, owned by Kushner, and it uses more energy than 85% of large office buildings in the city. Kushner Companies aims to double the size of the 41-floor edifice, and claim they “look forward to developing a greener building on the current site of 666 Fifth Ave.”
The analysis used as a basis for the ALIGN report was conducted using the most recent available data, from 2015, that is provided to the city by owners of buildings over 25,000 square feet in size. The data also takes into consideration the relative size of the building.
Although the de Blasio administration is working towards reducing emissions by 80% by 2050, the only major step taken towards achieving this creation of voluntary programs such as the NYC Carbon Challenge. Silva-Farrell argued that the cuts in emission should be required rather than merely encouraged, especially considering the executive order passed by President Trump which hindered many climate efforts. Silva-Farrell also notes that such a requirement by NYC to make buildings greener would create jobs, in addition to “fighting climate change.”
When faced with such claims, a de Blasio spokesman concurred and declared that the administration is planning to collaborate with the City Council on finding tangible ways for the goal to be met.
The Empire State Building serves as a concrete example that such an improvement can be made. The landmark reduced its energy use by about 40% through new windows and radiators, more conscious energy management by tenants, a chilling plant retrofit, and renovations to the lighting and building system control. These changes will even save the building $4.4 million per year own implemented, according to conclusions drawn by ALIGN.