Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Action by Federal and Municipal Representatives

There have been two actions taken recently which reflect the interest in green building at both the federal and municipal levels. On March 27, 2007 Senators Clinton and Kerry the "Zero-Emissions Building Act of 2007." The bill directs federal agencies to immediately require that all new federal buildings or major renovations reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent as compared to a 2003 baseline. In 2010, and every five years after that, the emissions reduction level would increase by 10 percent, until new federal buildings become "zero-emissions" buildings in 2030. The legislation would also apply to major renovations of existing federal buildings. The Act is available here--http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:s1059is.txt.pdf.

On the municipal level, mayors are banding together to support green building. For example, at their 75th annual meeting in Los Angeles recently, the 1,100-member U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) unanimously voted for a green schools resolution. The resolution urges Congress to support K-12 green school demonstration projects. The resolution is available here--http://usmayors.org/75thAnnualMeeting/resolutions_full.pdf. The Conference also passed a resolution pledging local totake local action to significantly reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and to support stronger federal policy and action on climate change.

These two actions are largely symbolic--it is unlikely the Clinton/Kerry Bill will be passed, and the USCM resolution has no legislative impact. However, they represent a recent change in the zeitgeist where the environment is a priority, and green building initiatives are a mechanism for acting to improve the environment.

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