Biden launches green buildings partnership with states, cities
The Biden administration is launching a new partnership with two states and several cities aimed at reducing planet-warming emissions from buildings.
President Biden is expected to announce the new “Buildings Performance Standards Coalition” during remarks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday.
According to a White House fact sheet first shared with The Hill, the partnership will include 33 state and local governments that encompass 20 percent of the country’s building footprint and 22 percent of its population.
The fact sheet said that the initiative will “unlock energy efficiency and electrification across the buildings sector as an engine for job creation all while lowering energy bills for consumers.”
The goal of the coalition is to advance legislation or regulation in each local or state jurisdiction by Earth Day 2024.
It will do so by developing policy roadmaps, convening place-based teams to help develop policy and sharing results with one another.
The states of Colorado and Washington have signed onto the initiative, as well as a number of cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
The move comes as the Biden administration is eager to show that it’s taking action on climate change — especially as its social and climate spending agenda remains stalled in Congress.
However, at a press conference this week, Biden expressed optimism that preserving a great deal of energy and environment-related spending is achievable.
In its latest push, the White House also invoked labor, saying that members of the country’s building trades and unions have said they will work with members of the coalition.
Meanwhile, the Energy Department (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are expected to provide technical assistance.
DOE will share best practices for governments taking on building efficiency standards. The fact sheet said that the EPA will provide “new tools” for calculating local planet-warming emissions.
According to the fact sheet, Biden has an overarching goal of upgrading 4 million buildings and 2 million homes during his first term.