Irvine’s carbon-neutral pledge targets building standards

Council may consider zero-carbon standards for new buildings, retrofits for older ones

Irvine, California (Getty)
Irvine, California (Getty)

The Irvine City Council pledged this week to make the city’s economy carbon neutral by 2030, with a focus on stricter green building standards.

The Council resolution does not institute new standards itself, but includes mention of potential zero-carbon standards for new buildings and retrofit standards for older buildings, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Buildings account for 56 percent of Irvine’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a city study. That same study found that transportation and waste account for 33 percent and 11 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, respectively.

The city is the first in Orange County and the third in California to set a carbon neutral goal, according to the report. Carbon neutrality means removing as much or more carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere as is created.

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California has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2035. Gov. Gavin Newsom last fall signed executive orders expanding natural conservation efforts and banning the sale of new gas-powered cars in the state by 2035.

New York City and New York State have also set ambitious climate goals. The city set emissions caps for large buildings that take effect in 2024. Landlords face fines if they exceed those caps.

Earlier this year, 10 of New York’s major landlords, including Empire State Realty Trust and Vornado Realty Trust, committed to carbon neutrality across their portfolios by 2035.

[LAT] — Dennis Lynch