Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Dear Governor Newsom... a-call-to-action now

March 18, 2019
The Honorable Gavin Newsom Governor
State Capital, Sacramento, California

Dear Governor Newsom,

We are heading into an extremely dangerous period. If we do not take action now, the planet will overshoot 2 degree C warming by a wide margin with consequences that are projected to be devastating to California, our country, and the entire world.

The world will build a breathtaking 260 billion m2 over the next four decades, or an area equal to the current worldwide building stock. About 40% of this construction is expected to take place between now and 2030. That’s an area greater than the total building area existing today in North America, South America, the Caribbean, the entire European Union, and Australia and New Zealand combined, all adding to the emissions problem.

Most of this new construction will take place in China, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, where there are either no mandatory building energy or emissions standards, or inadequate standards at best. If these buildings are designed and built to current standards, it will dwarf all other emissions reduction actions.

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of political leadership on this issue at the national level, yet California has always been the first to take action addressing climate change.

However, according to the CPUC’s “Commercial Zero Net Energy Action Plan”, California’s new commercial building construction is not scheduled to “achieve zero net energy performance” incorporating “on-site or off-site renewable energy” until 2030, too late to influence significant carbon reductions in California and building construction worldwide.

Renewable energy has been demonstrated to be cost effective in California today and industry tools have been developed that incorporate on-site or off-site renewable energy in new commercial building construction and supports grid optimization.

California is positioned to take the global leadership role in reducing carbon emissions in the building sector by accelerating the timeline to reach zero net energy performance, incorporating on-site or off-site renewable energy in all new commercial construction, to 2020. This would send an urgent and powerful call-to-action worldwide. 

The world looks to – and expects – California to lead the way.


Ed Mazria, FAIA, CEO
Architecture 2030
Contact: Edward Mazria, FAIA, CEO (505) 988-5309

See the signatory list here.

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