December 7th in Copenhagen, December 5th in Alexandria

The 15th Conference of Parties (COP-15) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change kicks off on Monday in Copenhagen.  I’m very pleased to hear that President Obama has decided to be there at the end, when the real negotiating happens, instead of at the beginning, when the emphasis is more on saying nice things.

I’m also happy that Alexandria and the Virginia Sustainable Building Network are putting on a workshop entitled “A Consumer Guide to Home Energy Audits” tomorrow, Saturday, December 5th, from 12:30pm to 2:30pm at the Charles Houston Rec Center at 902 Wythe Street.  I hope the room is full, and they have to turn people away!

I say this because according to the International Energy Agency, at Copenhagen IEA experts will present the results from recent studies on the “huge potential of energy efficiency” to cut greenhouse gas emissions.  The site states “IEA analysis identifies that 57% of cost-effective GHG abatement potential should come from energy efficiency.”

57%.  That’s a huge number.

As Alexandria’s recent greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant emissions inventory states, home energy use resulted in more than 434,000 tons of CO2e emissions in 2005, for 29.4% of the community’s energy-related GHG emissions.  Improving the energy efficiency of our built environment is going to be absolutely essential (not to mention cost-effective), so tomorrow’s seminar is a step in the right direction.

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