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Government Agencies Work together to ‘Decarbonize the Building Sector’

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, alongside the Department of Energy, have teamed up by announcing new initiatives to address the challenges posed by the climate crisis and to ensure that low- and moderate-income households and communities have access to a clean energy benefit. 

The announcements from the HUD and DOE include a memorandum of understanding with the DOE to work together on domestic efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the building sector and to cut costs for consumers through energy efficiency improvements. 

HUD also announced that it was joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), to guide and contribute to the U.S. government's scientific research on global climate change and ensure that state-of-the art research and data on climate change benefits the people and communities that HUD serves. 

“The new partnerships that we are announcing today underscore our strong and enduring commitment to energy efficiency and climate resiliency for our nation’s communities, homes, buildings, and infrastructure. It also underscores our commitment to sharing research on climate impacts faced by those most at risk,” said U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge.  “HUD will continue to work closely with the Department of Energy fortify homes and communities across the country, ensuring they are prepared to response to the challenges posed by the climate crisis through mitigation, adaptation and resilience.” 

“Today’s announcement reinforces the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government effort to lower costs for working families and ensure the benefits of the transition to a cleaner energy future are fully accessible, especially to those in low-income areas and underserved communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This new partnership will allow DOE and HUD to leverage each other’s expertise to deliver on President Biden’s commitment to provide more affordable and healthier housing for Americans while also reducing deadly emissions that fuel the climate crisis.” 

These announcements respond to both the changing patterns of human settlements and the role that the building sector plays in greenhouse gas emissions. 

“HUD will bring important perspectives on the needs of the households and communities that the department serves,” said Arati Prabhakar, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). “As our climate changes, it is crucial that every community is prepared and resilient. That’s why HUD’s voice is so important in USGCRP, which is charged with answering our nation’s most urgent global change questions.” 

“Joining USGCRP it a major step forward for HUD—and the communities we serve—in ensuring that we can benefit from the best available data, research and evidence on climate change and how it is affecting the housing and community development needs of those American communities most vulnerable to climate challenges,” said Solomon J. Greene, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. “HUD is excited to apply state-of-the art research and data tools developed by USGCRP members to advance HUD’s mission and our Climate Action Plan, and to strengthen our nation’s preparedness and resilience against climate change.” 

Click here for more on the HUD’s climate action plan. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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