The William J. Clinton Foundation has announced the creation of the Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit program, a project of the Clinton Climate Initiative. The initiative will bring together four of the world's largest energy service companies, five of the world's largest banks, and sixteen of the world's largest cities to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings.
The program is the first CCI has organized with partner cities in the London-based C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, an association of major cities that have agreed to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The cities participating in the first round of retrofits are Bangkok, Berlin, Chicago, Houston, Johannesburg, Karachi, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York City, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toronto.
Urban areas are responsible for approximately 75 percent of all energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions; in cities such as New York and London the figure is close to 70 percent.
Municipal leaders participating in the initiative have agreed to make government buildings more energy efficient and provide incentives for private owners to retrofit buildings with energy-saving technologies. Local banks and companies will be invited to contribute to the funding pool and suggest green products used for retrofits. CCI and its partners will assist participating cities by training local workers to install and maintain energy-saving and clean-energy products. ABN AMRO, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS have each committed to arrange $1 billion to finance municipalities and private building owners to undertake retrofits at no net cost.
"Climate change is a global problem that requires local action," said Clinton. "The businesses, banks, and cities partnering with my foundation are addressing the issue of global warming because it's the right thing to do, but also because it's good for their bottom line. They're going to save money, make money, create jobs, and have a tremendous collective impact on climate change all at once. I'm proud of them for showing leadership on the critical issue of climate change, and I thank them for their commitment to this new initiative."