May 18, 2009
by Canadian Architect
The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation, announced a global program developed in collaboration with the US Green Building Council (USGBC), called the Climate Positive Development Program. The program will support the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate cities can grow in ways that are “climate positive.” Climate Positive real estate developments will strive to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero.
Sixteen founding projects on six continents, supported by local governments and property developers, will demonstrate Climate Positive strategies, setting a compelling environmental and economic example for cities to follow.
Last year, for the first time, half the world’s population (3.2 billion people) lived in cities, and that figure is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2050. Cities also occupy just 2% of the world’s landmass, yet are responsible for more than two-thirds of global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Rapid urban growth and climate change are putting our world’s cities in a vise grip of escalating infrastructure, energy, and health and human services costs that will be magnified by the pressure of climatic adaptation. How cities change and grow is therefore a critical component to tackling the climate crisis.
“As the Earth’s population increases and our cities grow, we need to ensure we have the models in place to sustain our way of life in an increasingly urbanized world,” Clinton said. “The Climate Positive Development Program will set a new global standard for developments that will minimize environmental impacts and benefit economies as we build and rebuild homes, schools, and businesses. This announcement builds off the work my Foundation and the C40 have done to initiate large-scale projects in more than 40 cities that are already reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making a significant impact in the fight against climate change.”
To reduce the net greenhouse gas emissions of these projects to below zero, property developers and local governments will agree to work in partnership on specific areas of activity. This includes implementing economically viable innovations in building, the generation of clean energy, waste management, water management, transportation, and outdoor lighting systems.
When the initial 16 projects are completed, nearly one million people will live and work in Climate Positive communities. These communities will be located in: Melbourne, Australia; Palhoça, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Victoria, Canada; Ahmedabad, India; Jaipur, India; outside Panama City, Panama; Pretoria, South Africa; Johannesburg, South Africa; Seoul, South Korea; Stockholm, Sweden; London, UK; San Francisco, USA and Destiny Florida, USA.
By combining CCI’s business and finance expertise with the technical knowledge of the USGBC, the Climate Positive Development Program will support the planning and implementation process for each real estate development and establish the standards and metrics by which the sites can measure climate positive outcomes.
USGBC President, CEO, and Founding Chairman Rick Fedrizzi commented, “A program that aims to set a new global benchmark has to be set on solid metrics. We know this from our experience with LEED, and believe it’s fundamental to delivering immediate and measureable results.”
“We know that when it comes to combating the threat of climate change, cities are acting in many ways,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller, Chair of the C40 Group of large cities leading on climate change. “Climate Positive is yet another way cities will be able to continue to lead this important fight. This initiative is particularly important as the world becomes more urbanized and I want to thank CCI for making it a reality.”
“I am sure our effort to fight global warming will be a successful one if initiatives like the Climate Positive Development Program continue to be widely accepted around the world,” said Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul.
The William J. Clinton Foundation launched the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change. Working with governments and businesses around the world to tailor local solutions that are economically and environmentally sustainable, CCI focuses on three strategic program areas: increasing energy efficiency in cities, catalyzing the large-scale supply of clean energy, and working to measure and value the carbon absorbed by forests. In each of these programs, CCI uses a holistic approach to address the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the people, policies, and practices that impact them. CCI serves as the action arm of the C40, an association of large cities around the world th
at have pledged to accelerate their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To learn more about the work of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the William J. Clinton Foundation, please visit www.clintonfoundation.org.