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"We can keep the planet we have or we can continue with ‘business as usual’ and
hope for the best in one of the craziest games of risk the world has ever known."

– Architecture 2030
The End is Near...
... but we get to choose the ending!
The End is Near
That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers from NASA, NREL, Architecture 2030, and Columbia University. Architecture 2030 joined together with this remarkable team of scientists and engineers to tackle the critical question, “Can CO2-emitting coal be phased out by 2030?” We’re happy to report the answer is a resounding yes!
This is particularly good news because the alternative ending is rather dire. To quote from the team’s paper, Options for Near-Term Phaseout of CO2 Emissions from Coal Use in the United States, which will be published in the June print edition of the American Chemical Society’s journal Environmental Science & Technology:
“The only practical way to preserve a planet resembling that of the Holocene [i.e. the world as we know it],…is to rapidly phase out coal emissions...”

This sets up an immediate choice. We can phase out coal CO2 emissions by 2030 and keep the planet we have or we can continue with ‘business as usual’ and hope for the best in one of the craziest games of risk the world has ever known.
Which ending will we choose?
Architecture 2030, along with its colleagues on the team, is advocating for phasing out coal CO2 emissions by 2030. One, because we think this 'game of risk' simply isn’t worth the risk, and two, because the U.S. already has everything it needs to get the job done. We don’t have to wait on ‘clean coal’ technology, technically known as carbon capture and sequestration (CSS), which is decades away and may not be proven economically or technologically feasible. We can phase out coal emissions with existing know-how and off-the-shelf technologies.
The key to success is the Building Sector, which is the largest consumer of the electricity produced by coal, guzzling over 75% of it each year. Fortunately, building has a long history replete with the very know-how and technologies needed to achieve the necessary emissions reductions. Bringing the coal-generated energy consumption of the Building Sector under control through existing energy reduction measures provides such a significant reduction in CO2 emissions that other technologies, such as renewables, can readily provide the additional reductions needed to achieve a complete phase out of CO2-emitting coal by 2030.
So, the end is near.
This is great news…if we choose the right ending.
To read the entire paper, click here.
For the key parts of the Building Sector section, see pages 4051, 4052, and S3.
For questions regarding the Building Sector, contact:
For all other questions, contact the corresponding author, Pushker A. Kharecha.

Building Sector Intervention Points
When developing programs to affect change in the residential and commercial building sectors, such as for energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, it is important to recognize each sector’s optimal intervention points, i.e. points where major transformations can most easily take place. Intervention points occur over the life of a building, from its inception to its demolition. In its white paper, Effective Intervention Points for the Building Sector, Architecture 2030 identifies these fundamental, critical points, which can be summed up as follows:
Optimal intervention points for residential buildings occur during:
  • Building design – schematic design, material and building systems selection
  • Existing home purchases
  • Home mortgage refinancing
  • Rebuilding (after a natural disaster)
For commercial buildings they occur during:
  • Building design – schematic design, material and building systems selection
  • Existing building purchases
  • Leasing / tenant improvements
  • Building renovation cycles
  • Rebuilding (after a natural disaster)
Programs that do not recognize these intervention points or take advantage of them, face unnecessary obstacles and costs, and potential failure.
To read the full paper, click here.


EE Global
May 12, 2010: Ed Mazria
to Speak at EE Global

Learn more

. . .

Building Sector Intervention Points
A New White Paper
from Architecture 2030 identifies the critical intervention points for major transformation in the Building Sector.
Learn more / Read it now

. . .

Offshore Drilling: Is it Worth it?
Is it Worth it?
Find out here.

. . .

Just the Facts
Just the Facts
The latest climate science from
our top scientific organizations:

Climate Change
Indicators in the U.S.

EPA (APR 2010)
"Missing" Heat May
Affect Climate Change

NSF (APR 2010)
How Will Sea Level
Respond by 2100?

GRL (FEB 2010)
Click here for more Facts.

. . .

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Adopt the 2010 Imperative
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. . .

Go to the News/Resources section of our website to get the latest news updates on issues regarding climate change and the Building Sector.

. . .

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Architecture 2030
607 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

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