California is well known as the US climate champion and last February 22nd  announced that it has joined the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment – the first US State to do so. The announcement complements the leadership demonstrated by the mayors of C40 cities Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Monica, who joined the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment in 2018.

In 2018, Governor Gerry Brown established by Executive Order a goal for California to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, then achieve and maintain net negative carbon emissions thereafter; building on a long history of climate action from the state.

In addition to the historic Senate Bill 100 passed in 2018 which sets a target of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045, California’s strategy to achieve decarbonisation is coupled with several initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings.

An action plan, published today on WorldGBC’s Commitment signatories website, outlines the existing and planned regulations to eliminate around 147 million carbon emissions from all buildings across the state.

Andrew McAllister, California Energy Commissioner said:

We are proud to join the WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment
as an extension of the commitments made at the Global Climate Action
Summit. We look forward to sharing experiences with decarbonisation
of buildings at scale, including widespread access to energy efficiency
measures and renewable energy sources, to lessen our collective
footprint and improve long-term quality of life for all residents of
California.”

California, home to one of every eight US residents and with a population projected to reach 50 million people by 2050, has several different geographical and climatic regions, requiring different approaches and solutions to implement the regulatory requirements.

As part of the decarbonisation strategy, California has passed several bills to increase energy efficiency requirements in new and existing buildings, increasing uptake of decarbonising technology in buildings, and increasing the use of renewable energy to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supporting a transition from fossil fuels.

Additionally, a statewide energy benchmarking and disclosure program for large buildings is contributing to a greater understanding of how
energy is used and opportunities to reduce consumption.

The announcement complements the leadership demonstrated by the mayors of C40 cities Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Monica, who joined the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment in 2018.

WorldGBC welcomes this commitment from the state of California and the leadership it signals to the rest of the world, firmly securing it as a climate champion.