The Global Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program
Yeh, not the snappiest of project names. But we hope it's lack of pizzaz is more than compensated for by its results. Initiated by the Clinton Foundation, the program brings together 16 of the planet's large cities with five major global financial institutions — ABN AMRO, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS. The former have agreed to try and reduce energy use by 20 to 50% in existing municipal building stock by retrofitting them with more energy efficient products and technologies. The latter have pooled $5 billion, which is said more than doubles the total global market for energy saving retrofits in buildings. In the middle comes the four largest energy services companies (ESCOs) who'll will carry out the installations and also offer "performance guarantees" that the proposed energy savings will indeed result from their retrofits. The Cities involved are: Bangkok, Berlin, Chicago, Houston, Johannesburg, Karachi, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toronto. The press release from Bill Clinton's office suggests that urban areas contribute about 75% of all energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the world, with buildings alone accounting for nearly 40% of that, although in New York and London its more like 70%. Bill congratulated the city's mayors for signing on, saying, "They're going to save money, make money, create jobs and have a tremendous collective impact on climate change all at once." ::Clinton Foundation, via ::ABC.