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Climate Change activists push agenda through local codes

Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 4, 2019

By Bill Osmulski, MacIver News Service 

MADISON — Climate Change activist groups are trying to backdoor the Paris Climate Accord into local regulations across the country through the 2021 Residential Energy Code.

The International Code Council (ICC) is currently in the process of developing the 2021 building codes. When complete, state and local governments across the country will adopt the “model” codes, giving them the force of law.

Several environmental groups are pushing for a faster implementation schedule of “zero energy” or net zero carbon buildings, and they are looking to bypass the Trump administration’s decision to get out of the global climate agreement. 

“States and cities across the country are pursuing policies to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. More than 270 cities and counties and 10 states are signatories to the ‘We Are Still In’ commitment supporting climate action to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord,” the environmental organizations note in their proposal. “Thus far, seventy cities have committed to being powered by 100% renewable energy and more are joining all the time.The building energy code is an important policy tool for jurisdictions as they pursue these types of policy goals.”

The ICC codes are updated every three years, and anyone can recommend changes to them. Several climate activist groups did not miss that opportunity. The ICC just completed public hearings on the changes in Las Vegas, where 100 changes were considered to the Residential Energy Code. Thirty-eight of those changes would result in higher construction costs for new homes.

“The energy code is also an element in long term welfare through the reduction of green house gas emissions and the impacts on climate change,” the ICC’s Energy Code Committee said in a statement. 

Some of the groups responsible for pushing the changes include: the New Buildings Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council,Energy-Efficient Code Coalition, Alliance to Save Energy, and American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The organizations want to require all new homes built after 2030 to use zero carbon energy. 

It’s a costly proposition. Estimates peg costs of reaching zero by 2040 at at least $4.5 trillion. 

Only government officials who belong to the ICC get to vote on the proposals. Many of those delegates come from parts of the country that are on board with the climate change activist agenda. They gave preliminary approval to the proposal that demands immediate implementation of the 2030 goals.

Wisconsin is currently using the 2015 codes. It did not adopt the 2018 versions.

Read more at the MacIver Institute.

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