U.S. Green Building Council
Tens of thousands of delegates from diverse backgrounds and geographical regions convened in Rio to protect the future we want through sustainable development policy. While progress was made on the negotiating text, few are satisfied with the level of commitments and accountability from national governments. However, the news from Rio isn’t entirely bleak. Subnational governments are leap-frogging the unambitious goals of national governments to realize their own goals of urban sustainability.
|Me with Yuko Nishida, planner, Bureau of Environment|
Metropolitan Government of Tokyo
The Metropolitan Government of Tokyo’s urban cap and trade program for commercial buildings is not only the first of its kind in the world, but has already achieved staggering results in its first year of operation. In order to achieve 25 percent emissions reductions below 2000 levels by 2020, the city of Tokyo analyzed its carbon footprint by sector, revealing that the commercial building sector was by far the greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The urban cap and trade program governs the emissions of 1,300 commercial and industrial facilities, which covers approximately 40 percent of the commercial and industrial sectors’ emissions. Essentially, all buildings are required to reduce their emissions by six percent in the first compliance period (2010-2014) and 17 percent in the second compliance period (2015-2019). Buildings that achieve reductions greater than six percent can sell excess reductions to other, less flexible buildings. While some buildings may make deep energy retrofits and others do nothing, overall the emissions reduction goals is still met.