As part of the roll-out for its American Jobs Plan to invest in the nation’s “physical” infrastructure assets, the Biden Administration is asking real estate companies to make voluntary “commitments” to help reduce the built environment’s carbon footprint. (Climate Commitment Fact Sheet)
- The White House seeks three categories of voluntary “commitments” from real estate companies. A fact sheet prepared by The Roundtable provides more details:
(1) EV Charging Stations: Commitments to install a significant number of EV charging infrastructure in parking lots, garages, gas stations, and other areas.
(2) Clean Power Purchases: Commitments to purchase clean power in amounts that “offset” or “credit” the electricity consumed by an entire or majority of a real estate portfolio.
(3) Data Sharing: Commitments for a real estate company to share data on building energy consumption with federal agencies and US-DOE’s national laboratories.
- Mark Chambers, Senior Director for Building Emissions with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), outlined these commitments with The Real Estate Roundtable’s Board of Directors on April 20 timed with the Spring 2021 Roundtable meeting. (Roundtable Weekly, April 23).
White House Recognition
- Participating companies stepping up to the challenge will be recognized by the Biden Administration. A small number of commitments, deemed “significant” by the White House and reached within the next 7-10 days, may be showcased on May 17 with Cabinet-level participation at the virtual Better Buildings Summit sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
- The Administration’s outreach to CRE is part of a multi-industry push to also enlist the manufacturing, technology, transportation, power generation, and utility sectors as “partners” in tackling the climate crisis. (Forbes, April 29; Reuters, Feb. 3)
- Over 400+ businesses and investors recently signed an open letter urging the Biden Administration to cut U.S. GHG emissions in half by 2030 (relative to a 2005 baseline).
Any real estate company interested in exploring a commitment and earning recognition from the White House should contact Mark Chambers directly at Mark.C.Chambers@ceq.eop.gov. The Roundtable can also facilitate connections to the Administration through Duane Desiderio, Senior VP for energy and infrastructure policy (email@example.com).
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