Meeting Mayors' Energy and Climate Goals by Start America's Model Energy Code on a Glide Path to Net Zero Energy Buildings by 2050

Adopted at the 87th Annual Meeting in 2019

  • WHEREAS, America's homes, multi-family, commercial, and governmental buildings are currently both its largest energy consuming sector - using 40% of the nation's energy, 54% of its natural gas and 70% of its electricity - and, at 39%, its largest source of manmade greenhouse gas emissions;

    WHEREAS, building energy codes, by setting minimum efficiency requirements for all newly constructed and renovated residential, multi-family, and commercial buildings, provide measurable and permanent energy savings and carbon emissions reductions over the century-long life spans of these buildings; and

    WHEREAS, local governments play an essential role in the development, adoption, and enforcement of America's model building energy code, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and

    WHEREAS, the nature of the International Code Council's (ICC's) voting membership that develops the IECC puts mayors in a unique position of designating eligible code and other officials from their cities to participate in ICC's deliberations and ensure their votes are cast in support of reasonable efficiency measures and in opposition to efficiency rollbacks and trade-offs in the IECC; and

    WHEREAS, mayor involvement in IECC development since 2008 has already boosted the efficiency of the most recent IECC updates by nearly 40% over 2006 baselines, saving thousands of dollars in energy bills for home and commercial building owners and tenants and accounting for millions of tons of carbon reductions; and

    WHEREAS, the success of mayors' participation in these recent building efficiency gains, together with strengthened appliance standards, are so profound that they are credited with offsetting the nation's combined industrial, commercial, and residential growth needs in today's strong economy, breaking the historic need for new power plants to meet growing GDP, and

    WHEREAS, America's mayors have a strong record of calling on cities, communities, and the federal government to take actions to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, embodied by the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement; and

    WHEREAS, in the wake of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finding that national must limit global warming by 1.5 degrees by 2030 to avoid catastrophic impacts, America's mayors have single-handedly mounting local energy efficiency efforts and joining together in campaigns like the "Climate Mayors," "American City Climate Challenge," "Cities LEAP," the "Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy," "We Are Still In," "Mayors for 100% Clean Energy," "Ready for 100," that are designed to employ energy-related supply and demand measures to reduce their local carbon footprints, and

    WHEREAS, the McKinsey Center for Business & Environment identified the optimization of building energy efficiency as the most significant and impactful step cities can take to meet USCM and Paris Accord emission targets, 1 and an earlier McKinsey & Co. analysis ranked building energy efficiency measures as among the most cost-effective means of reducing carbon emissions, and

    WHEREAS, the International Code Council will complete its year-long development of the 2021 IECC this November with online final action voting by its Governmental Members, who are primarily local officials, and

    WHEREAS, since 2008, mayors have endorsed the goals, principles, and efficiency recommendations of the broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC), whose supporters include government; low-income housing; national efficiency NGOs; regional efficiency organizations; business and labor; consumer and environmental groups; architects; manufacturers; and all forms of utilities, and

    WHEREAS, following USCM's presentation to the ICC Board of Directors in support for future IECCs that help mayors achieve their energy and climate goals, EECC supporters submitted proposals that would: 1) achieve a minimum 10% boost in the residential and commercial building efficiency of the 2021 IECC using flexible options, and 2) incorporate flexible and "scalable" approaches, as well as net-zero appendices, that will allow jurisdictions wishing to exceed 10% efficiency gains to do so.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors realizes the urgency of meeting Paris Accord and energy policy targets by improving the energy efficiency of America's existing and newly constructed residential, multi-family, commercial, and governmental buildings.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the unique opportunity for cities and the critical role mayors can play by working with NGOs and broad-based building efficiency organizations in the development of America's Model Building Energy Code, the IECC.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages municipal governments to maximize their jurisdictions' online voting with the International Code Council to improve the 2021 IECC by at least 10% this November and to put future IECC updates on an efficiency glide path of steady progress to net zero building construction by 2050.

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