Decarbonizing Cities and Real Estate

The U.S. Landscape from a Global Perspective

November 07, 2022
  • Jeremy Kelly
  • Paulina Torres

City governments across the U.S. continue to make bold commitments to decarbonize real estate and the wider economy. While a large majority are aiming for net zero by 2050, some progressive cities are aiming for sooner.

Urgent action is undoubtedly needed. Today’s cities are responsible for more than 70% of total global CO2 emissions, giving them have a key role to play in driving climate action and supporting long-term, sustainable change across the U.S.

Policymakers at every level of government are increasingly implementing regulations to push the transition to a low-carbon economy. Yet there are different approaches; at the federal level, it’s mainly about incentives while at a city level, buildings that fall short on evolving standards will face penalties.

Although change is happening, policy and regulation are still lagging the science. Cities still need to move faster and go further. They must consider more holistic approaches to creating resilient spaces, including renewed emphasis on mitigation strategies, energy efficiency initiatives and energy storage, and establishing stronger partnerships among mutual interest groups to scale solutions and achieve the necessary reductions in emissions.

This report will help you navigate the complex landscape of real estate decarbonization through a review of targets, regulations, reporting mechanisms, incentives, and collaborations in 18 cities across the U.S. as they move toward a net zero economy.  

Read the full report to learn how the convergence of actions, policy, new technologies and capital investments to decarbonize real estate will be crucial to meeting cities’ commitments in their journey. 

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