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Roundtable Addresses Cap-and-Trade Program
The leading Senate proposal to establish a nationwide cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions (S. 2191) cleared a key subcommittee recently and is expected to be the subject of a hearing before the full Senate Environment Committee next week.
The proposal is one topic discussed recently by the Real Estate Roundtable, a forum for top U.S. real estate and political leaders to discuss major policy issues and their implications for real estate and the economy.
In a letter to S. 2191’s sponsors welcoming the bipartisan initiative, The Real Estate Roundtable urged creatively designed incentives that would encourage energy efficiency retrofits in existing buildings and better unleash the full potential for carbon dioxide reductions from the U.S. real estate sector, according to the Roundtable.
The bill does not currently provide a way for building owners to claim or secure the value of carbon dioxide reductions resulting from their investments in green buildings — thus, missing an opportunity to address CO2 reductions associated with existing buildings, according to the Roundtable.
The Roundtable encouraged lawmakers to explore elements of other pending bills that would allow for highly energy efficient buildings to qualify for some type of credit or allowance under a cap-and-trade system, and that would create incentives for utilities to actually promote energy-efficiency among their customers.