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In Advocacy and policy 03.7.2016

USGBC becomes affiliate of DOE Better Buildings program

USGBC recently formalized its commitment to become a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance Affiliate. The Better Buildings program was formed in 2011 with the goal of making buildings 20 percent more energy-efficient over a period of 10 years. The program covers residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings, and includes Better Buildings initiatives such as the Energy Data Accelerator. Promoting better energy efficiency Affiliates support the program...

In Advocacy and policy 02.11.2016

United Nations and GWU convene sustainability leaders

In late January, George Washington University (GWU) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) brought together leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors for a half-day conference on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Pathways Post-Paris. The event came on the heels of a blizzard that caused most of Washington, D.C., to shut down for days while everyone shoveled out, but that did not deter an interested audience from gathering early in the...

In Advocacy and policy 02.3.2016

Climate Leaders: Anne Kelly on investment, BICEP and our energy future [podcast]

In this episode of the Climate Leaders podcast series, we talk with Anne Kelly, the senior program director for public policy and director of the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) program at Ceres. Ceres is a nonprofit coalition of businesses and investors who seek to actively promote leadership and best practices in sustainability. In her role as head of the BICEP program, Kelly champions the path to meaningful climate...

In Advocacy and policy 12.4.2015

USGBC comments on the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015

USGBC is grateful for the work of the House of Representatives in advancing efficiency in buildings this Congressional session. As demonstrated by passage of H.R. 2126, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, and H.R. 2997, the Private Investment in Housing Act of 2015, efficiency in buildings is a critical resource that cuts consumer and business utility costs. We appreciate the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s recent work on conducting hearings and seeking to include...

In Advocacy and policy 03.3.2016

Advocating for efficiency in the Clean Power Plan

The U.S. government’s biggest single policy move toward mitigating climate change is the Clean Power Plan from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This rule, issued in August 2015, regulates on a statewide basis the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel power plants.  In brief, it requires states to establish plans to meet target CO2 reductions set by the EPA. States are not limited to smokestack controls, but can use measures such as end-user energy...

In Advocacy and policy 02.10.2016

Advocacy and Policy at USGBC: Working for green

The Advocacy and Policy team at USGBC is always working to advance green building and the environment. We'll be sharing highlights of our activities a few times a year, so you can keep up with what we're doing for our membership! Greenbuild 2015 As it is every year, Greenbuild was a major focus of USGBC’s advocacy and policy efforts in the last quarter of 2015. Hosting the conference in Washington, D.C., presented many unique opportunities to engage with government officials....

In Advocacy and policy 01.13.2016

State of the Union 2016: Obama’s focus on environment

Last night, President Obama delivered the 2016 State of the Union. In his remarks, he declared that as a nation we must make technology work for us when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change. In last year's address, the president emphasized that "no challenge—poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change." This year, he stressed that now is the time to commit to developing clean energy sources. “Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the...

In Advocacy and policy 11.13.2015

Advocacy and Policy at Greenbuild 2015

We are excited to welcome the green building community to Washington, DC, for Greenbuild next week! The Advocacy and Policy team plans to take full advantage of the conference being in the nation’s capital (check out our recommendations for what to do in our town). Planned events for the week include visits to Capitol Hill, an educational summit for federal employees, lots of relevant education programs and expo hall tours for state, local and federal government...

In Advocacy and policy 02.26.2016

In Oregon, a sustainable path out of an affordable housing crisis

USGBC is currently engaged in Oregon’s efforts to expand the availability of affordable housing—specifically, advocating for such housing to be green and energy-efficient. in line with our mission. USGBC’s commitment to green buildings for all in a generation is reflected in every aspect of the work we do. Currently, over 40 percent of the almost 200,000 LEED-certified homes in the United States are affordable housing units. We know that housing affordability is not just about...

In Advocacy and policy 02.5.2016

Green homes yield major resale premiums in Washington, D.C.

High-performing homes (HPHs) with green features—both single- and multi-family—in the District sell for nearly 3.5 percent more than those without green features, according to a recently released report, "What Is Green Worth? Unveiling High-Performance Home Premiums in Washington, D.C.," by real estate appraiser and author Sandra K. Adomatis and the Institute for Market Transformation. The market is taking notice. Building on the growing trend of green...

In Advocacy and policy 12.22.2015

Congress passes funding and tax incentives for green building community

Congress has passed a sprawling spending bill and tax extenders package that covers funding for all federal agencies and includes short- and longer-term extensions for a number of popular incentives for businesses and consumers. Based on an initial review of the package, it is generally a win for those in green building. The omnibus would provide $11 billion for programs under the Department of Energy, a $794 million increase above 2015. Specifically, the Buildings Technologies Office received...

In Advocacy and policy 11.9.2015

The public and private sector ramp up commitments ahead of COP21

Public and private entities in the United States are making emissions reduction pledges ahead of the climate negotiations in Paris. At this writing, through the Compact of Mayors, 83 local governments from more than 30 U.S. states have committed to ambitious climate planning activities. The Compact is an ever-growing global coalition that unites city governments and their network partners with a common aim—to share the impact of city action with the global community to inspire and...

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