21 November, 2008
As Obama-mania continues to hold the US, realistically what sustainability measures will the new president-elect be able to implement, asks the principal at Yudelson Associates
Obama-mania holds the US firmly in its grip. With president-elect Barack Obama effectively the first liberal chosen to lead the country since 1964 (Lyndon Johnson) and the first Northerner since 1960 (John Kennedy), the liberal and academic elites see their dreams of actual influence on the policy process about to come to fruition.
Will it happen? What will become of green buildings, energy policy and climate change responses in the new Obama administration?
It’s clear that there will be a renewed focus on energy efficiency and climate change. However, with key sectors of the US economy in the toilet, probably for his entire first term, a president Obama’s degrees of freedom are limited.
We’re likely to see more symbolism than concrete steps such as cap-and-trade systems and carbon taxes (forget that latter item; it’s a political death trap in the US). What I advocate for the building sector instead is the European approach found in building labeling, per the EU’s Energy Performance in Buildings Directive.
The rest of this letter from America can be found at http://www.building.co.uk/sustain_story.asp?storycode=3128189&origin=bldgsustainnewsletter
See posting below