Roundtable Weekly
U.S. Joins Global Push to Slash Building Emissions
December 8, 2023

The United States joined China, the UK, and the larger European Union this week in an international initiative to accelerate the buildings sector’s ability to reach “near zero” emissions by 2030. (United Nations press release, Dec. 6)

  • The initiative is a pledge by countries to cut emissions from building operations and construction materials down or close to zero. A Buildings and Climate Global Forum scheduled for March in Paris will flesh-out details.
  • The Biden-Harris administration’s imminent release of a proposed zero emissions building (“ZEB”) definition aligns with this international effort. The ZEB definition will be the first federal government guideline providing voluntary criteria for buildings that aspire to zero emissions status. (Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 29)


  • SBTi’s latest guidance includes important revisions urged by The Roundtable and Nareit in joint comments submitted last summer. (Roundtable Weekly, July 14).
  • Notably, SBTi changed course from its original proposal and will allow companies to set science-based emissions targets based on “market-based” solutions such as purchases of renewable energy certificates (RECs).
  • Real estate companies can apply to participate in SBTi’s pilot program through December 10. (SBTi Call for Applicants)

CFTC Guidelines and EPA’s Portfolio Manager

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding a workshop session for Real Estate Roundtable members on improvements to its ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. The workshop will take place on January 24, 2024 as part of The Roundtable’s State of the Industry meeting in Washington, DC. (Contact RER Meetings about registration)

EPA’s improvements to its free online Portfolio Manager tool, used by nearly 25% of U.S. building space to measure energy use and GHG emissions, is widely supported by the CRE industry. (Coalition letter to EPA, Sept. 14 and Roundtable Weekly, Sept. 15)

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