Scientists have made it clear: we must achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. America’s Zero Carbon Action Plan (ZCAP), developed by nearly 100 researchers, analyzes the costs and impacts of this transition and lays out a clear path for achieving it. The bottom line? The clean energy transition is affordable and economically sound.
Addressing America’s 150 million buildings will be critical. The energy used in America’s buildings, including electricity, is responsible for 32% of national greenhouse gas emissions.
Jeffrey Sachs, renowned economist and global leader in sustainable development, who spearheaded the ZCAP development, will introduce this event. Roger Platt, Sr. VP of USGBC, and Laurie Kerr, FAIA, who co-chaired the ZCAP Building Chapter, will present an overview the building sector policies, highlighting the impact on cities like New York. The policies include a national energy code that addresses both operational and embodied carbon, significant resources for local governments to launch advanced policies and decarbonize their public building stock, a significant increase in R&D for efficient building products, and a stimulus package that would create over half a million well-paid, construction related jobs. (Executive Summary of Building Chapter)
Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIA New York | Center for Architecture
Jeffrey D. Sachs, President, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Laurie Kerr, FAIA, LEED AP, President, LK Policy Lab
Roger Platt, J.D, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Growth, U.S. Green Building Council
About the speakers
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. Professor Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia University, the university’s highest academic rank. During 2002 to 2016 he served as the Director of the Earth Institute. Sachs served as Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the Sustainable Development Goals,UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on both the Sustainable Development Goals and Millennium Development Goals, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Sachs is currently Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Sachs was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1954. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Harvard College in 1976, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978 and 1980, respectively. He joined the Harvard faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1980, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1982 and Full Professor in the fall of 1983, at the age of 28.
Laurie Kerr, FAIA, LEED AP, is an architect and a national leader in green building and urban sustainability policy. Under Mayor Bloomberg, she led the development of the nation’s first comprehensive green building and energy efficiency strategies. At NRDC, she founded the City Energy Project which is now assisting 35 leading American cities in adopting policies like New York’s, and she is currently advising organizations on how to achieve a low carbon future. Her awards include the USGBC’s Leadership Award, AIANY’s Public Architect Award, and Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects. She holds degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Cornell.
Roger Platt, J.D, oversees USGBC’s global LEED for Cities rating system. The immediate past-president of USGBC, Roger also previously served as its SVP for Global Policy and Law with a focus on international climate policy. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Urban Land Institute and the Center for Architecture. Earlier, Roger served as SVP and Counsel at the Real Estate Roundtable and a senior land use attorney in San Francisco. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of San Francisco School of Law.
UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and AIA New York