86th Annual Meeting

Uniting Cities to Accelerate Focus on the Economic and Climate Benefits of Boosting America's Building Energy Efficiency

  • 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 its November 2017 analysis "Focused Acceleration: A Strategic Approach to Climate Action in Cities to 2030,"? 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, and

    WHEREAS, an earlier McKinsey & Co. analysis identified building energy efficiency measures as having "negative costs"? "? generating monthly utility bill savings to owners and occupants that exceed and rapidly recoup their costs "? ranking these measures among the most cost-effective means of reducing carbon emissions, and

    WHEREAS, America's mayors have long recognized the importance of building energy efficiency in the development of a sound and successful national energy policy, single-handedly mounting local energy efficiency efforts and joining together in campaigns like the "City Energy Project,"? "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, homes, multi-family, commercial, and governmental buildings are currently both America's largest energy consuming sector - using 42% of the nation's energy, 54% of its natural gas and 71% of its electricity "? and, at 39%, its largest source of manmade greenhouse gas emissions, making building energy efficiency a ripe target for accelerated action; and

    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 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 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 ensuring 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 the ICC's code development process since 2008 has already boosted the efficiency of the most recent IECC updates by nearly 40% over 2006 baselines, 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, the benefits of these recent efficiency gains extend beyond carbon and grid stabilization, putting thousands of dollars in utility bill savings in the wallets of local residents and business owners,

    WHEREAS, through four consecutive resolutions, mayors have reiterated their concerted support for putting future triennial IECC updates on a "glide path"? of steady efficiency gains that will improve the efficiency performance of millions of U.S. residential, multi-family, and commercial buildings.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the unique opportunity for cities to work together meet the lion's share of Paris Accord targets by focusing greater attention on 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 urges mayors from around the nation to work in conjunction with NGOs and other broad-based organizations promoting greater building efficiency to unite and maximize local government support for putting America's Model Building Energy Code, the IECC, on a glide path of steady progress toward net zero building construction by 2050.
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