Burlington 2030 District to fight climate change celebrates birthday

Local News

The Burlington 2030 District is a public-private partnership to fight climate change. It launched exactly one year ago Wednesday…so how is it doing?

Burlington is one of 22 communities in the U.S. that have declared themselves 2030 Districts. There’s also one in Canada.

Each one has committed to making itself a healthier place by cutting energy consumption in buildings, water usage and transportation emissions in half by 2030.

“We have over 150 buildings participating in the program and 23 property owner members,” Burlington 2030 District director Jenna Antonino DiMare said. “Not suprisingly, we’ve been working with some of the larger property owners initially in the city of Burlington to make the largest initial impact.”

Some of those larger owners include Champlain College, UVM Medical Center and the Burlington School District. However, anyone who owns property within the Queen City can join the initiative, and it’s grown significantly since it started exactly one year ago.

“I think we’ve seen 77% growth in our property owner members and a 34% increase in square footage committed to the Burlington 2030 District performance goals,” Antonino DiMare said.

More than 8,100,000 square feet of Burlington real estate are committed to the 2030 District, which is about 21% of all the real estate square footage in the city.

Mayor Miro Weinberger says there’s reason for optimism that Burlington can reach the 2030 District’s goals.

“We (as a city) consume less electricity today than we did in 1989, even with the huge expansion of things to electrify, different gadgets and devices,” he said.

Another reason for optimism came to light last week, highlighting an energy improvement the city has made over the course of this decade.

“Of all the cities in America, Burlington has the fourth-highest rate of solar installation per capita of any city in the country,” Weinberger said.

The U.S. Green Building Council reports that about 70% of the carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. come from buildings or from transportation. With that in mind, the 2030 District is making a particular effort to reach out to people working in those two sectors.

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