A National Roadmap for Clean Buildings: How President Biden Can Use Executive Action to Drive Toward 100% Zero-Emission Buildings

Industry and Business
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

America’s built environment consists of 124 million residential and 5.9 million commercial buildings, which together generate toxic amounts of air pollution and account for 13 percent of national carbon pollution. For the Biden administration to meet its ambitious climate goals, the White House must now implement rigorous pollution and efficiency standards to swiftly transition America's buildings to efficient, clean appliances like heat pumps and induction stoves. 

The first two years of President Joe Biden’s administration have included historic progress for climate action, but there remains so much more to do. In order to meet his target of a 50-52 percent reduction in climate pollution below 2005 levels by 2030, and to prepare the nation to reach net-zero emissions by midcentury, the Biden administration must move aggressively on executive action. 

Buildings represent the nation’s largest consumer of energy, fourth largest source of direct carbon pollution, and second largest source of air pollution.

In this paper, we assess the Biden administration’s progress, and propose a suite of additional executive actions that will drive transformation of the buildings sector. 

Part 1: Apply EPA Standards to Drive Toward 100 Percent Clean Appliances
Part 2: Improve Department of Energy Appliance Efficiency Standards
Part 3: Implement 100 Percent Clean Federal Buildings
Part 4: Advance a Just Transition through the Weatherization Assistance Program
Part 5: Advance the Equitable Implementation of Clean Building Provisions

President Biden and his administration must show visionary leadership by executing on this roadmap and helping create a nation of clean buildings. Download our recommendations now.

By Nate Kinsey, Molly Freed, Trevor Dolan, Leah C. Stokes, Dani Schulman & Sam Ricketts