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Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids join White House-led coalition to retrofit buildings to reduce carbon emissions

Dennis Schroeder
National Renewable Energy Lab
Technician installing additional insulation in attic

Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor are joining a Biden administration coalition to make buildings more energy efficient in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Officials with the coalition say buildings are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., with buildings representing 35% of total energy-related emissions.

The coalition seeks to develop new building standards and policies to upgrade and retrofit buildings.

Officials say the effort will improve public health and increase jobs, while lowering emissions from building use.

“Buildings are an integral part of our community – they shape our city's design and form, and we spend over 90% of our time inside them," Ann Arbor Mayor Chris Taylor said in a press release. "Here in Ann Arbor, buildings also account for over 65% of our community's climate pollution. That means we need to do everything in our power to ensure our buildings are safer, healthier, and more affordable for us and for the planet."

”We recognize that decarbonizing our buildings is one of the most important pathways to reducing community-wide carbon emissions,” Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said.

Both Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids hope to adopt new building policies by Earth Day 2024. 

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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