- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Energy on national building decarbonization efforts, HUD announced Dec. 6 at the United Nations COP28 climate summit in Dubai.
- The partnership “will allow DOE and HUD to leverage each other’s expertise” to bring Americans healthier, more affordable housing while reducing emissions, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
- HUD also announced that it is the newest member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, joining 14 other federal agencies in working to understand the shifting global environment and its impacts on society.
The building sector accounts for about 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions each year. Building decarbonization efforts in cities are becoming more urgent as urban populations grow: About 70% of people worldwide are projected to live in urban areas by 2050, according to a news release by HUD, which is tasked with addressing the nation’s housing needs.
On COP28’s global stage Wednesday, the Biden administration reaffirmed its building decarbonization ambitions, with the U.S. joining 26 other countries in a pledge to make near zero-emissions and climate-resilient buildings the “new normal” by 2030.
HUD’s new membership in the U.S. Global Change Research Program is “a major step forward” for the agency, Solomon Greene, HUD’s principal deputy assistant secretary for policy development and research, said in a statement. It ensures that the department “can benefit from the best available data, research and evidence on climate change and how it is affecting the housing and community development needs of those American communities most vulnerable to climate challenges,” Greene said.
HUD’s involvement in the research program will also bring important perspectives on household and community needs to the team, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhakar said in a statement.
Also on Dec. 6, HUD announced a new, free energy and water benchmarking service for owners of multifamily properties participating in HUD’s project-based rental assistance programs. The service offers data on building performance, analytics, technical assistance and other resources. According to HUD, the data can help owners apply for federal funding, comply with federal benchmarking requirements and qualify for other energy-efficiency and water-efficiency programs funded through their local jurisdictions and utilities.