A new study reveals that the U.S. can make huge cuts in building emissions, helping the country meet its net-zero goals by 2050. The research, published in the One Earth journal, suggests that we could cut building emissions by 91% from their 2005 high levels.
This isn’t just good for the planet; it could also save around $107 billion a year. But the question is, how can this be done?
The study talks about a few key moves. One is switching to clean energy like wind or solar. Another is making buildings more energy-efficient, maybe by installing smarter windows or thermostats.
Also, using low-carbon tech like heat pumps could make a big difference.
According to the study, buildings are a main source of U.S. emissions. They produced a record 2,327 megatons of CO2 in 2005. While that number has gone down by about 25%, we still need to do much more. Buildings still account for about 35% of all energy-related emissions in the U.S.
The researchers ran computer models to see what different scenarios could do for emission levels. They found that to achieve the highest reduction in emissions—91%—we’d need to go with the most aggressive plans.
These plans not only cut emissions but also lower energy costs, helping to offset the cost of making the electrical grid cleaner.
Current policies like the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are good steps but aren’t enough. Achieving deep cuts in emissions will need a mix of many solutions, say the researchers.
In summary, the U.S. has a real chance to make buildings much greener, and quickly. This could be a win-win, slashing both emissions and energy bills. But to make this happen, bold moves and policies are needed.