Municipalities, Code Officials Can Be Paris Agreement Heroes

Resilient cities report shows green features save money

Strengthening building codes and pursuing net-zero energy building are keys to continuing the progress the United States has already achieved to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This excellent HuffPost article, “Will U.S. Cities Deliver on Paris?” contributed by William Becker on behalf of the Presidential Climate Action Project, calls out municipal stakeholders and building codes as important to improving the state of our environment.

“Administratively, municipalities should check their ordinances, codes and policies and remove barriers to energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy systems. Localities should update their energy building codes and consider adopting net-zero energy building codes. They can implement land-use plans and zoning that encourage infill development rather than sprawl.”

The article covers a host of ideas for how cities can be on the forefront of the reduction of greenhouse gases, even putting forth ideas for those who are not motivated by climate change.

“If citizens are not motivated by climate change, a campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can be framed to emphasize its co-benefits, such as keeping more energy dollars in the community and helping families pay less for energy, where savings are like an additional tax-free paycheck each month. Energy savings give businesses extra capital to make their prices more competitive, or to hire workers, or to expand their plant and equipment. Solar energy is a proven job-creator at the local level. It gives people a choice on where their energy comes from and a sense of greater control over their lives.”

Read the full post here.