C. Linking Near Term Action with Long Term Potential
Given the durable nature of buildings, the potential for GHG reductions
resides mostly with the existing building stock for some time to come.
by 2025, newly constructed net zero energy homes and climate friendly designs for large commercial
buildings and industrial facilities could begin to generate sizeable GHG reductions by displacing the ener
gy intensive structures that embody today's standard practices. By mid century, land use policies could
also significantly reduce GHG emissions. This inter temporal phasing of impacts does not mean that retrofit
versus new construction versus land use policies should be staged; to achieve significant GHG reductions
by 2050, all three elements of an integrated policy approach must be strengthened in the near term.
Similarly, applied R&D will lead to GHG reductions in the short run, while basic research will
take longer to produce new, ultra low GHG technologies. This does not mean that fundamental research
should be delayed while applied R&D opportunities are exploited. The pipeline of technology options must
be continuously replenished by an ongoing program of both applied and basic research. Vigorous market
transformation and deployment programs will be needed throughout the coming decades to shrink the
existing technology gap and to ensure that the next generation of low GHG innovations is rapidly adopted.
By linking near term action with long term potential in an expansive and integrated framework,
the building sector can be propelled to a leadership role in reducing GHG emissions in the United States
Towards a Climate Friendly