The Clinton Climate Initiative, a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation, has announced the Climate Positive Development Program, which was developed in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.
The program will support the development of large-scale urban projects that strive to reduce the amount of on-site carbon dioxide emissions to less than zero. In its initial stage, the program will support planning, implementation, and metrics development for sixteen projects in ten countries in order to set a compelling environmental and economic example for cities to follow.
To reach the targeted net greenhouse gas emission level, property developers and local governments will need to work together on activities such as the implementation of economically viable building innovations, the generation of clean energy, waste and water management, transportation, and outdoor lighting systems. Upon completion of the initial projects, an estimated one million people will live and work in "climate positive" communities.
Although cities occupy just 2 percent of the world's landmass and contain roughly half of the world's population, they are responsible for more than two-thirds of global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, cities are growing and expected to be home to 70 percent of the world's population by 2050.
According to the foundation, rapid urban growth and climate change are causing cities to struggle with escalating infrastructure, energy, and health and human services costs that will be magnified by the pressure of climatic adaptation. "As the Earth's population increases and our cities grow, we need to ensure we have the models in place to sustain our way of life in an increasingly urbanized world," former President Bill Clinton said. "The Climate Positive Development Program will set a new global standard for developments that will minimize environmental impacts and benefit economies as we build and rebuild homes, schools, and businesses."