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In Advocacy and policy 04.29.2016

Private sector opportunities at the U.S.–China summit in June

China and the U.S. are poised to drive global sustainability coming off the Paris Agreement’s entry into force on Earth Day. Indeed, at COP21 in Paris, President Xi Jinping made a strong commitment, promising that China will contribute to climate change by focusing on green building and transportation.  The dialogue will continue on June 7–8 when the U.S. State Department and its China counterpart convene the U.S.–China Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities...

In Advocacy and policy 04.25.2016

Senate passes broad energy legislation

This week, the U.S. Senate advanced a comprehensive energy package by a wide bipartisan margin. S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which includes provisions on efficiency, infrastructure, supply and accountability, was approved by the Senate on an 85-12 vote. Passage of the bill is somewhat miraculous given that the legislation had been sidelined for months because of procedural objections from both the majority and minority parties in the Senate. The bill reflects input...

In Advocacy and policy 04.6.2016

Green improvements outpace traditional home upgrades

PACE Loans—Does Sale Value Reflect Improvements?, a recent report by Laurie Goodman and Jun Zhu, finds that homes with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) upgrades net higher resale values compared to homes without PACE upgrades. PACE loans offer homeowners a way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, such as a new air conditioning system, new windows, insulation or solar panels. PACE loans fund the up-front cost of improvements and are repaid...

In Advocacy and policy 03.15.2016

Register now for the Better Buildings Summit

Registration is now open to the public for the U.S. Department of Energy’s annual 2016 Better Buildings Summit. The summit is an annual national meeting where businesses—including many USGBC members—in various sectors showcase their solutions to reduce building energy intensity and discuss future opportunities to achieve greater energy efficiency.  When: May 9–11, 2016 Where: Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C. This year, the summit will...

In Advocacy and policy 04.28.2016

DOT metrics rule could help reduce carbon pollution

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice seeking public comment on a proposed rulemaking concerning performance metrics for states and regional organizations that receive federal funding. As our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) capably explained, the proposed rule is one of several aimed at improving the performance of our nation’s transportation infrastructure. USGBC appreciates that DOT has raised the possibility...

In Advocacy and policy 04.21.2016

On Earth Day, reflect, celebrate and push forward

Earth Day 2016 will be a truly historic event. At the United Nations in New York City, more than 150 countries will sign the Paris Agreement that was forged at COP21. The signing by so many, this quickly, is unprecedented. By signing the agreement, countries large and small, rich and poor, will give their consent to be bound and the agreement will “enter into force.” A strong global climate agreement and the transition to a low-carbon economy are in the best interests of the global...

In Advocacy and policy 03.28.2016

Free webinar March 31 on designing policy for energy efficiency

As a partner in the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), USGBC supports cities around the globe with resources on policies to implement building efficiency. Cities are perfectly positioned to leverage policies driving building efficiency policy to meet local goals, from cost savings to carbon emissions. The BEA is led by the World Resource Institute (WRI). Cities and policy advocates are encouraged to participate in a...

In Advocacy and policy 03.10.2016

USGBC member companies take part in DOE Better Plants program

Nearly 30 USGBC member companies have committed to improving their energy performance through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants program. The initiative aims to spur significant advancements in energy efficiency in the U.S. industrial sector through the development of comprehensive energy management plans. Aggressive reduction targets Partners in the Better Plants program sign a voluntary pledge to reduce their energy intensity by 25 percent...

In Advocacy and policy 04.26.2016

COP21 and the role of cities, businesses and people

The signing of the Paris Agreement this past Friday—Earth Day—convened leaders from 160 countries in one of the largest civic celebrations in the world. The agreement, a historic commitment that emerged from the COP21 talks in Paris last December, represents a top-down leadership role that national governments must play. But an equally important development also came out of Paris: a bottom-up approach from cities and companies around the world. COP21 emphasized the...

In Advocacy and policy 04.12.2016

Global climate action and buildings: What's next

Coming out of Paris last December, the world had in hand a truly groundbreaking climate agreement, with 195 countries committing to take action on climate change. The United States, China, France and other parties will sign the Paris Agreement later this month on Earth Day, April 22, at the United Nations in New York City. The U.S. government and leaders around the world are working hard toward early “entry into force,” which occurs when the agreement has been signed...

In Advocacy and policy 03.15.2016

USGBC supports HUD green building financing

Continued market transformation toward a truly sustainably built environment requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. Beyond innovative building design and materials, elevated resource efficiency standards and comprehensive construction methods, financial institutions play a critical role in fostering development and demand for green building. USGBC supports the changes to mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) recently proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD...

In Advocacy and policy 03.8.2016

Rhode Island leads by example in green building policy

Late last year, Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo signed an executive order mandating that state agencies reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions throughout their facilities. Motivated by the state’s commitment to address climate change and by the Resilient Rhode Island Act, the executive order (EO) is broad in its reach in promoting renewable energy and working to reduce energy consumption. Notably, the directive mandates that state agencies achieve...

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