Coalition of 25 governors pledge to end building emissions, quadruple heat pumps

The U.S. Climate Alliance of 25 governors Thursday announced new commitments to decarbonize buildings and quadruple the number of heat pumps. Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., said the climate emergency is spurring bold decarbonization action by the states in the alliance. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
The U.S. Climate Alliance of 25 governors Thursday announced new commitments to decarbonize buildings and quadruple the number of heat pumps. Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., said the climate emergency is spurring bold decarbonization action by the states in the alliance. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Climate Alliance Thursday announced new commitments from its bipartisan coalition of 25 governors to decarbonize by ending emissions from buildings and quadrupling heat pump installations.

"We are in a climate emergency and the window to act is closing. U.S. Climate Alliance states get that. That's why we're taking bold, immediate action by quadrupling heat pump installations by 2030," said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement. "Heat pumps are available and affordable, not to mention better for the air we breathe. So our commitment today is good for our planet, and for our people."

The commitments announced at the Climate Week New York City event include collectively reaching zero-emission new building construction "as soon as practicable" while increasing efforts to eliminate existing building emissions.

"We can't fight climate change alone. It's critically important that we continue the transition to create an affordable clean energy future that benefits all New Yorkers," said New York Gov. Governor Hochul. "I am proud to stand side by side with my fellow governors in the U.S. Climate Alliance to show our commitment to bold action to decarbonize the buildings sector. This coalition continues to prove that when we come together, we can make a greener future more equitable and accessible for all."

According to the U.S. Climate Alliance, buildings emissions comprise more than 30% of all U.S. greenhouse emissions.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday it's vital that states fight climate change together by making decarbonization commitments to decarbonize the buildings sector. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday it's vital that states fight climate change together by making decarbonization commitments to decarbonize the buildings sector. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

The 25 states in the alliance are working on zero-emissions standards for space and water heating equipment, exploring clean heating standards and working to phase out fossil fuel heating and cooling in new construction among other decarbonization efforts.

Not every state member of the alliance is doing all of these things, but different groups of states have committed to working collectively to reduce carbon emissions.

White House Deputy National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said Thursday that bold decarbonization commitments by governors in the U.S. Climate Alliance combined with President Joe Biden's "historic" climate leadership will have a "catalytic impact across America." Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
White House Deputy National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said Thursday that bold decarbonization commitments by governors in the U.S. Climate Alliance combined with President Joe Biden's "historic" climate leadership will have a "catalytic impact across America." Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

The U.S. Climate Alliance will convene with the White House in May. President Joe Biden has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50-52% by 2030 with an overall zero net emissions goal by 2050.

"Combined with President Biden's historic climate leadership, these bold commitments by governors to cut emissions from buildings will have a catalytic impact across America," White House National Climate Advisor Zaid said. "It will clean up the air our children breathe, save hardworking families money on their monthly energy bills, strengthen America's climate resilience, and create good-paying jobs in every corner of the country."