US Governors: We Want Carbon Neutral Buildings by 2030


Photo via SOHH

Buildings account for half of all CO2 emissions. It's a blunt, unfortunate fact that's been well known for quite some time. It's why green building requirements were written into the Waxman-Markey climate bill, and why the American Institute of Architects' goal is to have new and renovated buildings carbon neutral by 2030. And though, as Lloyd points out, neither do enough, the move to make buildings carbon neutral has just found another group of vocal proponents: US governors.According to Greenwire,

The National Association of Governors is the latest legislative group to support the American Institute of Architects' goal of zeroing out new and renovated buildings' greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
It may not be a revolutionary move, but it's another positive, bipartisan show of support for an issue that direly needs action--even if it's not as aggressive as is necessary to stymie climate change, I count it as good news. And since it is so bipartisan, it could theoretically get some Republican and moderate Democrats to reconsider green priorities (though this seems unlikely--they seem so far uninspired by other green acts the govs have made have made) Governors aren't the only ones speaking up in support of AIA's carbon neutral by 2030 plan:
The NGA -- which is convening in Biloxi, Miss., for its annual meeting -- endorsed the AIA goal as part of a resolution on energy efficiency and conservation. The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties have also endorsed the AIA goal by vowing to integrate provisions related to the built environment in their energy policies.
Mayors, counties, governors, oh my. It's a pretty solid coalition, and even if 'green building' is a bit of a given issue to get behind (who wants to be the governor that doesn't shoot for carbon neutral buildings?), and even if the governors are just voicing support at the moment and aren't necessarily making any binding commitments, there's still this:
NGA's resolution opens the door for the AIA to promote in every state a "green" construction code that the International Code Council is developing. The code -- which will be compatible with the AIA's 2030 carbon-neutrality target -- will include water, energy, air-quality and safety benchmarks that states and cities may adopt starting in late 2011.
Which is progress. Inadequate, and incremental, maybe. But progress.

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