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Copenhagen Accord: 55 Countries Agree to Cut GHG Emissions

The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) announced on February 1 that it has received national pledges from 55 countries to limit and reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020. The Copenhagen Accord, an agreement reached at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, called for countries to submit their emissions targets to the UNFCCC by the end of January. The 55 countries represent 78% of all global emissions from energy use. Among industrialized countries, the commitments come from Australia, Canada, Croatia, the European Union and its member states, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, and the United States. Commitments also came from 23 developing countries, including such major emitters as Brazil, China, India, the Republic of Korea, and South Africa.

However, it’s worth noting that many of the commitments, particularly those of the developed countries, hinge on similar commitments being made by other countries. They also use varying base years for comparison. In the case of the United States, the commitment is to reduce GHG emissions “in the range of 17%” below 2005 levels, “in conformity with anticipated U.S. energy and climate legislation, recognizing that the final target will be reported to the Secretariat in light of enacted legislation.” The UNFCCC notes that the next round of formal climate negotiations is scheduled for Bonn, Germany, at the end of May, although several countries have indicated their wish to see a quick return to the negotiations with more meetings than the scheduled sessions.

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Quadruple Energy Savings In One Year

WASHINGTON, DC – In 2009, EPA’s Energy Star Leaders prevented the equivalent of more than 220,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and saved more than $48 million across their commercial building portfolios. These savings have quadrupled since 2008 and represent the single greatest year of savings since EPA recognized the first Energy Star Leaders in 2004. Over the past five years, Energy Star Leaders are saving money and helping our environment by preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from the electricity use of nearly 39,000 homes annually.

Energy Star Leaders must meet one of two energy efficiency improvement milestones. The first milestone requires a 10 percent energy reduction across the entire building portfolio. The second, known as ”top performer,” requires the buildings in an organization’s portfolio, on average, to perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

Fifty-eight organizations are recognized for at least one of these milestones in 2009 – more than double the number that qualified in 2008. More than 75 percent of Energy Star Leaders in 2009 met the top performer milestone, more than in any other year. The list of 2009 Energy Star Leaders is dominated by 54 school districts, many of which are located in the nation’s Midwest region.

The complete list of Energy Star Leaders has grown to more than 100 organizations since 2004, including school districts, commercial real estate companies, healthcare systems, supermarket operators and hotel managers. Energy Star Leaders represent more than 5,600 buildings covering nearly 390 million square feet across 32 states and the District of Columbia.

List of Energy Star Leaders as of December 31, 2009:


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Energy Tag Cloud

From the DOE:

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