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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Declined Dramatically for Last 11 Years

January 11th, 2017 by Susan Smith

Projected U.S. building sector energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the year 2030 have declined for eleven straight years since the 2030 Challenge was issued in 2005.

This statement was issued by the Architecture 2030 Challenge, to highlight the progress of just one organization that has tirelessly worked toward the reduction of GHG emissions for the past 11 years. The report itself demonstrates a commitment among the architecture and planning communities plus building sector professionals to the decline of GHG emissions in the U.S. building sector.

“According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2016, projections to the year 2030 for building sector energy consumption (building operations) have declined by 18.5 Quadrillion BTUs since 2005 (or the equivalent of 1,209 coal-fired 250 MW power plants),” recent press materials said.

Additionally, new renewable energy generation and the replacement of coal with lower emissions fuels is added to the lower building sector energy consumption to make the total U.S. building sector GHG emissions plummet.

According to the EIA, by 2030 U.S. building sector emissions are projected to be 29% below 2005 levels.

EIA projections for energy consumption and emissions each year since 2005 have been exceeded.– all without any significant congressional legislation for the past 11 years, and with limited state adoption of advanced building energy codes according to company materials.

If the ability to sustain this projection rate continues without interruption, projected building sector emissions may drop 35% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

The U.S. movement to reduce carbon emissions through resilient and zero carbon planning, building design, and reduced carbon materials and construction best practices is also being practiced worldwide.

“Together we have been, and remain, the driving force behind an evolution to the highest form of design – addressing a new and unprecedented problem, that of climate change and its impact on all of Earth’s life forms.”

– Edward Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030

While support for dropping carbon emissions by the incoming U.S. administration is not known at this time, a precedent has been set for this work via research and development, and the attention of conscientious communities across the country. Individual states have come forward to profess their long-term commitment to these goals. The call for reduction of carbon emissions is very strong in other countries who have embraced the Paris Accord, evidenced by their commitment as a country and individual mandates carried out in countries such as China, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Canada and many others.

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Categories: 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11, 2D, 3D, AEC, AECCafe, architecture, Architecture 2030, building information modeling, collaboration, construction, site planning, virtual reality, visualization

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