The 2030 Blueprint is the latest from Ed Mazria’s 2030 Challenge initiative. This new study illustrates how an investment of just $21.6 billion towards building energy efficiency would replace 22.3 conventional coal-fired plants, reduce CO2 emissions by 86.7 MMT, save 204 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 10.7 million barrels of oil, save consumers $8.46 billion in energy bills and create 216,000 new jobs.
You may recall the 2030 Challenge was launched in January 2006, outlining a measurable, achievable strategy to reduce global GHG emissions and fossil-fuel consumption in the building sector by the year 2030. The 2030 Blueprint now provides a comparative analysis of three distinct approaches to addressing climate change: building energy efficiency, ‘clean’ coal (with carbon capture and sequestration) and nuclear power.
Mazria and and his co-author Kristina Kershner conclude in the 2030 Blueprint:
“There is a clear, simple, realistic and achievable solution to climate change that also offers significant additional benefits: building energy efficiency. Of the energy and climate change solutions proposed today, building energy efficiency is the one that can be implemented immediately, costs the least and offers the greatest benefits to both the planet and the economy. With a single action, the U.S. can begin replacing coal, reduce CO2 emissions, strengthen the U.S. economy, save consumers billions of dollars and create jobs.”
Read the full report here.
"Primary Victory", by Suzanne LaBarre for the April 2008 issue of Metropolis Magazine, details Ed Mazria's unrelenting push to make the 2030 Challenge a reality. She writes:
"On December 19, 2007, President Bush signed into law a sweeping energy bill that, among other things, handed down the stiffest green-building standards in U.S. government history. It was heralded in the popular press as a momentous leap forward: 'From Bulbs to Cars, This Bill Will Change Your Life,' the Houston Chronicle crowed. 'More than we’ve ever done,' effused a Democratic senator to Newsweek.com. And from the New York Times: 'Its passage is one of the largest steps on energy the nation has taken since the oil crises of the 1970s.' Going by the articles, you’d think Bush approved the environmental equivalent of universal health care.
So why hasn’t Ed Mazria – the New Mexico architect who propelled the bill’s green-building regulations to the fore – declared victory? Five years ago Mazria floated the seemingly incredible notion that the nation’s biggest greenhouse-gas emitter isn’t transportation or industry; it’s the building sector. Before long, he and a cohort of fellow architects were hawking statis t ics on Capitol Hill. The legislation that resulted requires federal facilities to eliminate carbon emis sions by 2030, regulates home appliances, and offers some financial incentives for sustainable design. (Not even Al Gore can claim such rapid head way.) Still, Mazria says, these provisions represent a sliver of what could have been. Bowing to political pressure, congressional leaders scotched key language that would have slashed dependence on fossil fuels, though they managed to improve energy conservation in public and private buildings. 'The building sector is the 800-pound gorilla in the closet you have to deal with,' Mazria says. 'We’re moving quickly, but we still have a long way to go.' The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, as it was optimistically dubbed, was in-deed the nation’s largest step on energy since the 1970s and the largest step on green building ever. Maybe that was part of the problem."