The private, international entity that sets model building codes for much of the U.S. and parts of the Caribbean and Latin America released a new framework on Thursday that removes local governments of their ability to vote on future energy efficiency standards.The move is widely opposed by architects, environmental advocates, and local governments. HuffPost reports the American Gas Association and the National Association of Home Builders praised the changes by the International Code Council, which critics argue will shift decision making power to industry interests.
The changes highlight potential limitations on the Biden administration’s ability to decarbonize the buildings sector, which use approximately 40% of all energy produced in the U.S.. “This is a classic example of leaving the fox to guard the hen house,” Kim Havey, the Minneapolis sustainability director told HuffPost. “City leaders and their supporters will be meeting to discuss our options. One may be to ask the White House and Congress to throw the ICC in the compost bin of history and create a new oversight body to develop an energy code that works for the benefit of the people and our planet.” (HuffPost)