Cities are Striving to Comply With the Paris Climate Agreement

Sep 21, 2018

This will provide business opportunities for contractors.

President Trump’s refusal to agree to the international climate agreement reached in Paris last year was widely criticized abroad and at home.

Cities and states around the country have joined together to implement the carbon emission reduction standards set by International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) on their own, bypassing the federal government.

Cities realize that improving the efficiency standards of commercial buildings offers them the best mechanism to make the most immediate and significant impact on carbon emissions.

Corinne Grinapol’s article in ENR discusses the environmental programs that have been initiated in various cities.  She notes that “commercial and residential buildings currently account for 28% of U S. emissions” according to a study compiled for the U.S. Council of Mayors.

Adopting or incorporating the IECC into local building codes to promote reductions in energy usage is the key to achieving sustainable building practices.

“The IECC has cut CO2 emissions by 36 metric tons and cut costs by $44 billion over its 20-year existence, according to the Energy Dept. The code is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 841 million metric tons from 2010 through 2040.”

Chicago is in the forefront of cities reducing carbon emissions by establishing rating systems to track energy consumption by commercial buildings. The city has set “benchmarks” that will steadily reduce energy consumption by 1 to 3% percent per year.

The business potential for the construction industry is obvious. Efforts to make the nation’s building infrastructure more energy efficient will continue for the foreseeable future. It is, increasingly mandated by state and local building codes as well as by private efficiency rating initiatives such as LEED.

This is good news for our industry.


Cities, States Lead Efforts to Cut Carbon Emissions, Corinne Grinapol, ENR September 3/10, 2018.