Clinton Unveils $5 Billion Green Makeover for Cities
NEW YORK, New York, May 16, 2007 (ENS) - Former President Bill Clinton today announced the creation of a $5 billion global effort to fight global warming by retrofitting existing buildings with more energy efficient products, thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
A project of the Clinton Climate Initiative, the program brings together four of the world's largest energy service companies, five of the world's largest banks, and 15 of the world's largest cities to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings.
President Clinton announced the Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program at the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit now underway in New York. Mayors from across the United States and around the world are at the summit to strategize on climate change issues.
"They're going to save money, make money, create jobs and have a tremendous collective impact on climate change all at once," he said.
Urban areas are responsible for approximately 75 percent of all energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and in older cities such as New York and London this figure is much higher.
"Mayors are responsible for coming up with pragmatic solutions and implementing them effectively – and this program will allow us to do that," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "We've laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce our carbon emissions, 80 percent of which come from buildings, while being economically competitive and continuing to grow."
This will be the first large scale, global program that will address the larger problem of energy use in existing buildings. which are responsible for almost all greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.
The Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program will provide both cities and their private building owners with access to the necessary funds to retrofit existing buildings with more energy efficient products, which is exptected to produce energy savings of between 20 and 50 percent.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, Chair of the C40, said he is encouraged by this first outcome of the C40's partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative.
Participation in the retrofit program will be open to local banks and companies, who will be invited to contribute to the funding pool and to expand the list of green products used in retrofits.
The retrofit program will be consistent with, and work within, city procurement and tendering rules.
The U.S. Green Building Council and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers have agreed to help coordinate training programs in participating cities.