HUD Signs on to Historic Climate Declaration at United Nations Buildings and Climate Forum

By klrw460 March 13, 2024

Last week, at the United Nations Buildings and Climate Forum in Paris, France, representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) presented their initiatives to decarbonize and enhance resilience in their programs and housing portfolio. They emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and climate resilience, alongside gaining insights on building climate-resilient homes. These measures are seen as crucial for addressing the climate crisis, reducing energy costs—particularly for low-income Americans facing high energy burdens—and enhancing the resilience of homes against climate-induced disasters.

The conference concluded with the United States delegation, led by HUD, joining 70 countries in adopting the Declaration de Chaillot. This document establishes a basis for international cooperation aimed at achieving a rapid, fair, and effective transition of the building sector to zero emissions. HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge highlighted the importance of learning from global partners in the pursuit of building future-ready homes and acknowledged the significance of the United States signing onto the historic climate declaration.
The forum, a collaborative effort between France and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), saw over 1,800 participants come together to drive international collaboration on building decarbonization and resilience, following the Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 in December 2023 in Dubai.

Additionally, at COP 28, led by then-Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, HUD announced several key initiatives:

  • A memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Energy focusing on reducing carbon emissions in the building sector and enhancing energy efficiency to lower consumer costs.
  • The launch of HUD’s Energy and Water Benchmarking Service for properties in its Multifamily project-based rental assistance programs, offering data on energy and water consumption to help identify efficiency improvements.
  • Joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) as the 15th member, to contribute to the U.S. government’s scientific research on global climate change.

Since implementing its Climate Action Plan in October 2021, HUD has made substantial progress in benchmarking and enhancing energy efficiency and resilience across HUD-assisted units. By COP 28, the agency reported benchmarking 463,000 HUD-assisted units, making nearly 100,000 units more energy efficient or aligned with green building standards, and rehabilitating over 25,000 homes affected by disasters using HUD funds.

HUD’s engagement in the Buildings and Climate Forum aligns with its broader mission to create more sustainable, resilient, and efficient communities. Leveraging funds from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act through its Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP), HUD has allocated over $368 million to support clean energy and climate resilience upgrades in 84 multifamily properties, improving living conditions for over 9,000 homes for very low-income households, seniors, and people with disabilities.

For the full details and insights, please refer to the original press release at the following link: https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_24_051