The Obama administration has made it clear that advancing clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are priorities. As the administration sets forth new policies relating to GHG reporting and potentially moves toward cap and trade legislation, various market segments, including the commercial buildings sector, are beginning to assess the potential impacts and benefits.
The energy used in homes and commercial buildings is often generated by burning fossil fuels, which emit GHGs. Reducing energy consumption in the building sector is therefore critical to the reduction of GHGs—particularly given that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that commercial and industrial buildings in the United States account for 45 percent of our national GHG emissions. The EPA estimates that over the next 25 years, GHG emissions from buildings are projected to grow faster than any other sector, with the largest amount of emissions coming from commercial buildings. Starting from the design phase, new buildings present a major opportunity to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions.
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