North American commission pushes for green building design.

Author:Block, Ben

An organization led by North America's top environmental officials is calling for greater continental collaboration to build green.

In a March report, the Montreal-based Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) stated the need for "a lasting and achievable vision" of green buildings in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The vision includes the creation of stakeholder task forces, targets to build "net zero" energy buildings, and the promotion of private sector financing. "This effort can help strengthen the economies of North America by spurring new markets and business opportunities for manufacturers, utilities, and other companies," the report said.

The CEC's recommendations follow the framework of the so-called "2030 Challenge," which calls for new buildings to be designed to emit half or less of the greenhouse gases of the regional average for their type. The challenge also outlines a target for carbon-neutral buildings by 2030 (sec "Green Building Goes Mainstream," p. 12, for definition and discussion).

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