Democratic candidate promises US zero-carbon new build

Former Republican New York City Mayor and leading US Democratic presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg, is promising to ensure that every new building in the country will be constructed to zero-carbon standard with a “hyper-efficient” performance.

Historically, no president has ever mandated any national energy consumption standards for buildings. These are usually organised at either state or even township level.

The proposal is part of Bloomberg’s overall goal for cutting US carbon pollution across the economy by 50 per cent by 2030 in order to hit full decarbonisation before mid-century.This target would mirror the legal2050 target set in the UK by former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.

The clean buildings plan unveiled by Bloomberg deliberately prioritises low-income and middle-class minority communities. Its interventionist measuresinclude fuel bill rebates, tax credits, and low-cost financing for both appliances and building renovation.

One of the richest men in the world, Bloomberg plans not just to set zero-carbon high-efficiency standards for new construction. He is also promising to ramp up energy efficiency standards and health-related pollution restrictions for existing buildings. 

• Meanwhile, the European Commission has unveiled plans to mobilise €1tr over the next 10 years, as part of an unparalleled investment strategy to drive the decarbonisation of the continent's economy.

The Sustainable Europe Investment Plan also details plans for a Just Transition Mechanism, to support those regions facing a particularly far-reaching transformation proposes. It will direct a quarter of the EU budget to climate and environmental spending, a move that will channel €503bn into decarbonisation efforts between 2021 and 2027.

At the same time, the European Investment Bank is being reoriented to become Europe’s “climate bank”, increasing the share of its financing dedicated to climate action and environmental sustainability to reach 50 per cent of its operations by 2025.

This wide-ranging investment programme is to form the financial foundation for the EU’s Green New Deal announced in December, (see EiBI Jan 2020) which envisages a radical transformation of the trading bloc's economy to become net zero emission by 2050.

Europe is now firmly committed to an unprecedented mobilisation of public and private finance, as it seeks to build the world’s first net zero emission continent.

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