In response to President Biden signing several Executive Orders focused on climate change, the U.S. Green Building Council has issued the following statement from Senior Policy Counsel Elizabeth Beardsley:
“President Biden’s Executive Orders focused on tackling the climate crisis is especially encouraging to USGBC. Seeing the White House prioritize action around greening the federal footprint and federal infrastructure investments as part of the ‘whole of government’ approach to climate is consistent with USGBC’s policy priorities to reduce carbon footprints and boost resilience across the building sector.
“By reducing the carbon footprint of federal agencies and leveraging agency programs—from funding to regulatory—we can show climate leadership from the top. Supporting climate mitigation across the government also enables us to take measurable steps to support a healthy, resilient, sustainable and equitable future for all. We value our long partnership with federal agencies in supporting this effort and look forward to accelerating that work.
“As the administration develops the nation’s ‘nationally determined contribution’ under the Paris Agreement, buildings will be a key sector for investment and decarbonization. For more than a quarter century, USGBC has been at the forefront of defining green building standards through LEED. The rating system provides a path for reducing operational costs, improving efficiency, reducing emissions and supporting health. More than 6,900 federal projects are already engaged. USGBC also supports a growing green building workforce, which today includes more than 200,000 LEED green building professionals, who are at the heart of helping the U.S. transform its buildings to be more sustainable, healthy and resilient.
“In addition to these orders, we are encouraged by the Biden administration’s commitment to retrofit 4 million commercial buildings and weatherize 2 million homes in four years. We further commend the creation of an Interagency Working Group to help communities impacted by coal and power plants recover in terms of economy, environment and public health. We look forward to supporting these priorities as we, together, work to build back better.”