Building codes are wonky and dense. But they can slash emissions and pollutants.

Published by Grist: States and cities across the country are revamping often arcane building codes to limit the use of fossil fuels in homes and workplaces. It’s an essential shift, as gas-powered appliances like furnaces and water heaters are a key component of global warming but rarely at the forefront of solutions. But most municipalities don’t have the resources to engage in the monthslong process of writing climate-aligned codes. That process can and should be easier.

Local and state governments have long relied on ICC suggestions and templates to advance energy efficiency and address climate change. In late 2019, the organization voted to include pro-electrification measures in the council’s model energy code for states and cities. But construction and fossil fuel industry groups lobbied to strike these provisions. The ICC’s leadership subsequently stripped the rights of cities and states to vote in the energy code development process and reversed some of the pro-electrification measures that had been passed.

In the wake of the ICC’s decision, clean energy nonprofit, RMI, and New Buildings Institute launched Codes for Climate earlier this year. The initiative will provide free technical, policy, and implementation support for states and cities looking to adopt all-electric building codes that will help achieve their goals, including meeting greenhouse gas emission targets, reducing energy burdens, removing health risks, and improving resilience.

Read More