This could be huge.
Yesterday, as part of the Clinton Climate Initiative, Bill Clinton announced a program to help significantly reduce carbon emissions in 16 major cities around the world. How will they do it? 5 banks - ABN AMRO, Citi, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS - have committed to providing funding for refitting city owned buildings in each of these cities to make them more energy efficient. This will include things like new double-paned windows, new lighting systems using flourescents, upgrading HVAC systems, and using auto-climate control systems that reduce energy usage. Four companies - Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Inc, Siemens and Trane - have committed to doing the retrofits, and they have guaranteed the energy savings of the retrofit projects. If they don't provide the savings expected - 20 to 50% in energy costs for the buildings - the companies will refund money or do further retrofitting.
Here's why this could be huge: Cities are responsible for close to 80% of the world's carbon emissions. City buildings are responsible for 40 to 70% of those emissions in cities. And this project intends to reduce those emissions significantly. So I'm optimistic.
What cities are participating? Bangkok, Berlin, Chicago, Houston, Johannesburg, Karachi, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toronto.