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A Family in the Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn eats dinner underneath a BlocPower heating unit.

When Ithaca, N.Y., decided last year to embark on the unprecedented project of decarbonizing all 6,000 buildings in town, it turned to BlocPower, a climate startup that retrofits buildings in low-income neighborhoods with solar panels, electric heat pumps, and other emission-reducing tech. “We can turn a building into a Tesla and make it all electric,” says CEO Donnel Baird, who counts Goldman Sachs and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund among his company’s backers. If it’s successful—the goal is a 40% emissions reduction—other cities will likely follow suit.

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