For the past several years COG has tracked the region’s progress in addressing climate change and meeting the ambitious goals of its 2008 National Capital Region Climate Change Report. In this year’s Climate and Energy Progress Report COG for the first time also compared metropolitan Washington to other regions around the nation.
The report found that our region is home to one of the greenest built environments in the United States. Our cities and counties across the region outperform other regions of similar size in total number of LEED certified projects ENERGY STAR -rated square footage of floor space and feature the highest number of EPA Green Power Partnerships in the country. Given that about 55 percent of metropolitan Washington’s energy is consumed by buildings these metrics are all the more critical to our region’s sustainability.
With over 3.3 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy created per year there is a lot of green energy in metropolitan Washington exceeding the amounts produced by more populous regions like the Los Angeles Dallas and Houston regions. The Climate and Energy Progress Report explains the successes of the Washington region while putting into context strategies that others can emulate.The report also highlights climate and energy actions and policies by local governments school systems and energy and water utilities.
Gwendolyn Fleming U.S.EPA Chief of Staff and Roger Berliner Montgomery County Councilman and COG Climate Energy and Environment Policy Committee (CEEPC) Chair released the report at the October COG Board of Directors meeting with great enthusiasm. The report shows how to make buildings more cost and energy efficient by including fixed cost options including including green roofs sustainably sourced materials and more weather resistant exteriors among others. Read the full report and see what cities counties and companies are doing in our region to save money and benefit the environment simultaneously. At the report release Fleming and Berliner also presented the inaugural Climate and Energy Leadership Awards to several COG jurisdictions for embodying the core mission of CEEPC.