World's Cities Making Progress on Green Building

Today, we reported on two initiatives by the some of the largest cities in the world to significantly bring down greenhouse gas emissions.

And there’s another. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group – a network of cities across the world – has been sharing best practices since 2005. The group merged with the Clinton Global Initiative in 2013.

75 cities participate, representing 1 in 12 people and 25% of global GDP. Their work includes green building, water, waste and energy, open space and transit-oriented development.

Some model examples:

London’s congestion charging scheme has reduced the number of vehicles in the central business district by over 70,000 a day, cutting carbon emissions 15% since 2003.

Sydney plans for every resident to be within a 250 meter walk from green paths that connect to major city parks.

Cities measure and report greenhouse gas emissions using a standard protocol:  

Climate Change Cities Protocol

On the Green Building Front:

  • 61% of C40 cities have enacted municipal green building policies.  San Francisco requires municipal buildings to earn LEED-Gold certification, for example.
  • 67% have green building and energy codes that apply to all buildings.

  • 75% have incentives/ subsidies for the private sector to boost building performance, such as expedited permits for LEED-certified buildings, subsidized energy audits, or incentives to add green roofs, for example.

  • 73% have green school policies in place that engage students in cutting emissions and protecting the environment.  

  • Building resiliency – Berlin’s storm water fee taxes  property owners based on the amount of impervious surface on their land, for example, and Toronto funded a technology that draws cold water from the depths of Lake Ontario to cool buildings.

Read, Green Building City Market Briefs:

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