NEW YORK (WWTI) — During New York Climate Week, the state has launched a new building challenge to help combat climate change.

Governor Andrew Cuomo officially launched the Empire Building Challenge in New York State. The challenge is a $50 million initiative to transform standing multifamily and commercial high-rise building so reduce their carbon footprint. According to Governor Cuomo, the Challenge is the first of its kind. Funding will be provided to replace more energy efficient heating and cooling technologies and solution.

Additionally, according to a 2019 analysis by Urban Green Council, if all buildings choose efficiency to meet their carbon goals, the retrofit market opportunity in New York City could be over $20 billion by 2030 while creating over 100,000 jobs by 2030.

UGC also stated that increased energy efficiency can be achieved through window, door and wall insulation, efficient appliances, replacements of furnaces and boilers and additional clean energy technologies.

The Empire State Building Challenge will over $27 million during phase one and two for both building owners and large commercial office tenants. Phase three will offer $10 million.

“New York is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing renewable energy resources that will grow our economy and advance our nation-leading plan to fight climate change,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Empire Building Challenge leverages public-private partnerships with leading industry experts and helps New York to continue its rich legacy of environmental stewardship in order to protect our natural resources for future generations.”

The announcement made on September 22, 2020 moves forward towards the mandated 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in New York State.