Advocates for increasing the U.S. government's response to climate change received a strong sign of support today from President Barack Obama. Following through on his 2013 inauguration promise to address climate change, President Obama unveiled plans for a National Climate Action Plan today during a climate change-centric speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. What does this mean for building professionals? Among the points of the plan that apply to green building are the following targets and initiatives:

  • President Obama’s 2014 FY budget commits to increasing funding for clean energy technology by 30 percent, with the goal of doubling wind and solar electricity generation by 2020.
  • The Department of the Interior has been directed to permit enough renewable electricity generation to power more than 6 million homes.
  • Federal agencies are setting a goal of reaching 100 megawatts of installed renewable capacity across federally subsidized housing stock by 2020.
  • The Obama administration will expand the Better Buildings Challenge to multifamily housing, and will launch the better Buildings Accelerators to encourage adoption of state and local policies to address energy waste.
  • By 2030, new standards will be established to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons, the equivalent to more than one year’s carbon pollution form the country's entire electricity system.
  • The White House will install American-made solar panels on the First Family’s residence as part of an energy retrofit.
  • By 2020 the federal government will consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, an increase from the current goal of 7.5 percent.
  • The administration will launch an effort to create sustainable and resilient hospitals, and provide tools for climate resilience.