As the federal government rejects the Paris Climate Accord, cities around the country nevertheless hope to fulfill its goals – especially Washington, D.C., which was recognized as the first LEED Platinum city in the world.
LEED expanded its scope beyond buildings last year when it launched LEED for Cities, which enables cities to measure and communicate performance and focus on outcomes from ongoing sustainability efforts. Today in Washington, D.C., 65% of neighborhoods are walkable; 58% of commuter trips are by bike, walking or public transit; and the city’s government is powered 100% by renewable energy and is on track to power at least half of the city’s overall electricity from renewables by 2032.
“It is in the best interest of Washington, D.C.’s safety, economy and future to take sustainability and resiliency seriously, and as the nation’s capital, we have a special obligation to lead the way on environmental issues,” says Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We are proud to be recognized as the world’s first LEED Platinum city. Our commitment to these issues will not yield, and we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more resilient and more sustainable D.C.”
The LEED Platinum certification the city has received recognizes the actual results of the city’s efforts to create a sustainable and resilient environment instead of just planning to do so. These outcomes include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting clean energy innovation and focusing on inclusive prosperity and livability in all eight wards.
Over the past two and a half years, the Bowser administration has released Climate Ready D.C., entered one of the largest municipal on-site solar projects in the U.S., completed the largest wind power purchase agreement of its kind for a U.S. city, launched Sustainable D.C. 2.0 and signed an order pledging to uphold the Paris Climate Accord.
“Washington, D.C., is setting the bar for smart cities all around the world by leveraging technology and data to achieve sustainability and resiliency goals, creating healthy and safe communities where citizens can thrive,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO at USGBC and Green Building Certification Inc. “Mayor Bowser and the city are once again showing that our nation’s capital is performing at the highest levels and that its buildings, neighborhoods and communities are as sustainable as possible.”