10 mayors have come together to fight climate change and pollution in their cities
- 31 January 2014
NEW YORK: Mayors from 10 of America’s biggest cities have joined forces to tackle climate change and pollution, in an energy efficiency project that could save US$1 billion a year.
The New City Energy Project (CEP) brings together leaders to improve energy efficiency in their cities’ buildings. The initiative’s organizer Natural Resources Defense Council says the move could cut energy bills by almost US$1 billion a year and reduce the pollution equivalent of up to 1.5 million cars.
Buildings are the biggest emitter of carbon emissions in the US. Due largely to their electricity use, 40% of America’s emissions come from buildings, which is more than both the industrial and transportation sectors' emissions. In some cities, almost 75% of emissions come from buildings.
Cities so far signed up are: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.
“Energy efficiency creates jobs, lowers energy bills, and is a cornerstone of constructing a sustainable future,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Los Angeles has long been a leader in environmental policy and we look forward to working with cities around the country to jointly implement policies that stimulate our economy, save money, and reduce our carbon emissions.”
Laurie Kerr, Director of the City Energy Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “These mayors are showing there is the political will to put people to work to build a healthier, more prosperous future for America’s cities. In the face of a changing climate and increasingly extreme weather, they know they must act now to make their cities more resilient and sustainable.”
Speaking about the impact energy efficiency measures had on New York City during his leadership, Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and 108th mayor of NYC, said: “New York City’s sustainability efforts are a major reason our greenhouse gas emissions are down 19% since 2007 and our air is cleaner than it has been in more than 50 years. They have also substantially driven down energy costs for consumers. The City Energy Project will bring the significant economic and environmental benefits that energy efficiency has to offer to other cities – and accelerate progress by helping them learn from each other's successes.”
CEP will offer energy expertise to cities to help them develop unique strategies that support the following goals:
- Promote efficient building operations
- Encourage private investment
- City leadership
- Promote transparency
“As a six-time ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year recipient, CBRE prioritizes energy efficiency as a strategic way our real estate clients can get ahead,” said David Pogue, Global Director of Corporate Responsibility, CBRE, the world's biggest commercial real estate services firm. “We strongly support the efforts of the City Energy Project to advance the real estate markets in cities through localized strategies to encourage energy efficiency.”
“Building energy efficiency has far-reaching benefits, not only for the environment, but also in enabling high performing work space, facilitating jobs, and resulting in better financial return,” said Kyung-Ah Park, Head of Environmental Markets Group at Goldman Sachs. “As a global financial institution committed to facilitating market-based solutions to critical environmental issues, we are excited to see the launch of the City Energy Project, which will bring the leadership of 10 cities to help address market barriers and catalyze this important opportunity.”
By Clare Saxon