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In Advocacy and policy 05.27.2016

Department of Energy and CoStar partner to expand visibility of benchmark data

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and CoStar Group announced a new partnership to bring building energy data to the most widely used commercial real estate databases in the United States. The announcement underscores the value of data to drive market transformation. This important milestone complements and supports ongoing efforts, such as the Green Building Information Gateway and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), to empower stakeholders to understand the...

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 opening for signature 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 05.4.2016

Nations to leverage building efficiency to meet Paris commitments

Last December, 195 nations from around the world came together in Paris and forged a historic agreement to act collectively to reduce human impact on the climate. Leading into the U.N. Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21), countries developed Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlining what actions each will take to reduce national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  World Resources Institute (WRI) evaluated the 167 INDCs...

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, initiate the process by which 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 economy...

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 05.3.2016

Electric vehicle industry leaders meet with White House

White House and federal agency officials recently convened key stakeholders, including USGBC, to identify challenges and opportunities to support and promote electric vehicles (EV). Government officials at the meeting included high-ranking staff within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the General Services...

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...

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