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HUD No. 23-271
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
December 6, 2023

HUD and DOE Announce New Partnership to Decarbonize U.S. Building Sector at COP28

HUD also becomes the 15th member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to advance climate research for communities facing greatest climate risks.

WASHINGTON - Today, at the 28th U.N. Climate Conference (COP28), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced new initiatives to address the challenges posed by the climate crisis and ensure that low- and moderate-income households and communities can benefit from a clean energy transition. These announcements include a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Energy 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. HUD senior leaders have joined the U.S. delegation to COP28, led by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. Senior U.S. officials from over 20 U.S. departments and agencies, along with civil society leaders from across the U.S., have traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to advance U.S. climate goals. At COP, the U.S. also joined the UNEP Buildings Breakthrough. Participating countries endorse the statement ‘Near-zero emission and resilient buildings are the new normal by 2030’. The Buildings Breakthrough mobilizes international collaboration to accelerate the transition of the building sector to zero emissions and resiliency.

“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. By 2050, it is projected nearly 70 percent of the world's population will reside in urban areas. And it is estimated that, today, the building sector accounts for nearly 40 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) globally. Along with its federal partners, HUD is committed to reducing GHG emissions in the U.S. building sector and leveraging the best available science to ensure that our homes and urban communities are built to withstand climate risks.

In another important advancement, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy has named HUD the 15th member of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). USGCRP is a consortia of federal member agencies that coordinate federal research and investments in understanding the forces shaping the global environment, both human and natural, and their impacts on society. HUD brings important insights and perspectives to USGCRP, drawing from its work increasing climate resilience in low-income and climate-vulnerable communities, its experience preparing communities for and helping them respond to more frequent climate-related disasters, and its commitment to environmental justice.

“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.”

To correspond with COP28, HUD has also released the following fact sheets on its ambitious work to build climate resilience:

HUD continues to implement a Climate Action Plan with the objective of developing an equitable nationwide building decarbonization framework. To further HUD’s work, HUD and the Department of Energy (DOE) are taking a “whole of government” approach and leading building decarbonization efforts with this MOU.


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