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Photo: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

Of nearly a million buildings in New York City, just 2% are responsible for half of the city's building-related CO2 emissions. And, according to a new report released to the Huffington Post today by the Climate Works For All coalition, the biggest culprits are swanky luxury buildings, like those owned by the Trumps and Kushners.

The big picture: Buildings account for nearly 40% of climate emissions in the U.S., making them a prime target for improving their energy efficiency. And, with so few buildings accounting for such a large chunk of these emissions, that's exactly what a coalition of environmental groups in New York is trying to do. They're also hoping their efforts will help lay a roadmap for other cities.

Where it stands: The coalition laid out a plan for cutting CO2 emissions that is different from current policies in many cities.

  • Most cities deploy small retrofitting projects like lighting improvements to reduce climate emissions. But these low-cost policies don't make cuts large enough to meet big efficiency goals, like New York city council's, which mandates an 80% emissions reduction by 2050.
  • The coalition recommends a new approach: setting a standard for energy usage in buildings that slowly ratchets downward over time, so building owners and operators can adapt in ways that are most cost-effective for them.

Yes, but: This type of energy use standard policy hasn't been implemented in any cities yet, and Pete Sikora, a senior adviser for one of the groups authoring the study, told Axios that the New York real estate industry has a strong lobbying arm. "It is the 1600-pound gorilla of New York politics," he said.

  • It's also expensive. A study by the Urban Green Council estimated costs for cutting building emissions 90% by 2050, and found it would amount to about $94 billion. But that investment would pay off over time. Savings as a result of efficiency upgrades would total $87 billion, making it mostly cost-neutral.

What to watch: The report calls out real-estate magnates like the Trumps and Kushners who own the types of buildings that are generating climate pollution, which will impact coastal areas like New York in the future. Some of the biggest names:

  • Trump Tower and Trump International Hotel
  • The Kushner-owned building at 666 Fifth Ave
  • One57 on "Billionaires' Row"
  • The luxury building at 15 Central Park West

Go deeper

Big Tech lobbies hard against looming antitrust bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Tech CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai, have been jawboning lawmakers as a Senate committee takes up a key antitrust bill Thursday.

Why it matters: The bill prompting this lobbying frenzy could upend how tech's giants do business, and tech's critics see this as a "now or never" moment for Congress to check the industry's power.

Biden stock market gets Trumped

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

U.S. stocks markets performed worse during the first year of Joe Biden's presidency than during the first year of Donald Trump's presidency.

By the numbers: The S&P 500 rose 19.3% between the market close before Biden's inauguration and yesterday's market close, compared to a 24.1% increase for Trump during the similar period.

First look: Biden's Year One turnover

Expand chart
Data: Brookings Institution; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Low first-year turnover among President Biden's senior staff marks a "return to normalcy" and a sign of stability after the Trump years, says a new Brookings Institution report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The departure of five out of 66 "A-Team" officials puts Biden's departure rate as the third lowest since Ronald Reagan's presidency, above only George H.W. Bush and son George W. Bush, the report found.