This past week, I had the privilege of participating in several events surrounding the Global Climate Action Summit, including the main event itself.
I kicked off the week on Saturday joining colleagues and friends to march alongside tens of thousands of others calling for strong climate action in San Francisco for Rise For Climate Jobs + Justice. Those attending came from a variety of backgrounds and political beliefs — with many of them calling for an end to capitalism (and one sign even said to ban cars!). As for me, I showed up with a sign sayings: “Stopping Change Makes Business Cents.” That’s because, while I know that unrestricted capitalism is killing the planet, I believe that market-based solutions — when properly guided by sound public policy — can scale climate solutions better than any other mechanism human have yet devised.
On Tuesday, I headed to GCAS affiliate event Carbon Smart Building Day at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF, where I converged with hundreds of stakeholders of the built environment, including architects, structural engineers, real estate developers, clean energy companies, materials manufacturers and policymakers to discuss actionable and profitable solutions to addressing the 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions coming from the built environment. Carbon Lighthouse showed up big at the event, and our CEO and Co-Founder gave the keynote.
It was there that The Carbon Smart Building Declaration, a document which I co-authored with Andrew Himes of Carbon Innovations, was unveiled. It recognizes the built environment as a key driver of climate change and one of the greatest areas for cutting carbon profitably — while declaring support for the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment to challenge cities, states and regions to reach net zero emissions in all new buildings by 2030, and to retrofit existing buildings to meet net zero carbon targets by 2050. To date, the Declaration has been signed by several hundred organizations and individuals, including Johnson Controls, Interface, U.S. Green Building Council, World Resources Institute and the City of Boulder, among others. I invite you to sign it as an individual, and to urge your organization to do so as well.