LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mayors from 10 U.S. cities took aim at their skylines Wednesday, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their buildings.
While power plants are the nation's No. 1 carbon emitter, it has long been known that businesses and homes also contribute to carbon dioxide pollution. Most of it comes from the burning of fossil fuels for heating, cooling and lighting.
Many of the participating cities — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Los Angeles, Orlando, Fla., Philadelphia and Salt Lake City — already are working toward making their building stock more energy efficient.
Los Angeles last year became the first major city to require new and remodeled homes to sport "cool roofs" that reflect sunlight as part of an effort to save energy and reduce electricity bills.
Boston requires energy audits from building owners. The city, along with Chicago and Philadelphia, recently passed laws to measure how much energy buildings are using as a first step toward boosting their efficiency.
Other places including LA, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, Houston and Salt Lake City participate in a voluntary federal program to cut emissions from commercial and industrial buildings.
As part of the new effort, cities will work with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Institute for Market Transformation, a nonprofit that promotes green building, to continue their progress and further reduce their carbon footprints by targeting buildings.
The groups said the reductions would be equal to taking more than a million cars off the road and could save residents $1 billion annually.
The project is funded by ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation and other philanthropic groups.